Scouting NY Reports On The “Lost” Pool At The Hotel St. George In Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights history buffs know that the Hotel St. George once boasted a world class salt water pool. They also know that it still exists – for the most part – at the Eastern Athletic Club. Scouting NY does a great job today documenting just what that means:

ScoutingNY: But do remnants of the Hotel St. George’s grand pool still exist? Over the years, several Scouting NY reader have written to say that small details do in fact remain from the legendary pool, and I was finally able to take a look for myself the other day.

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  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Nabeguy, is this true? Phillip weigh in.

  • Jorale-man

    Hmm. It’s possible they acquired part of the footprint of the original but I’d think everything around it has changed.

  • Eddyde

    The current pool is the shallow end of the original pool, its length is now what was once the width. The depth used to be 12′ feet at the diving end. The rest of the pool was covered over to become gym space. When it was first converted (ruined), in the early 80’s, much the original mosaic tile remained. However, it appears from the photo most of it has since been replaced.

  • GHB

    If you look in Eastern Athletic, there’s some old green tiling with gold trim on some of the pillars. If you look at old photos and postcards, you can see that same tile.

  • TDG

    As Eddye said, this is the shallow end of the original pool. I remember seeing a small amount of original tile in place. The original pool had a tile or mosaic covered wall above the pool on the left in the photo. This wall had a waterfall that emptied in to the pool, but which was seldom used even in the early fifties. You could jump or dive through the waterfall (yes diving was allowed everywhere in the pool, even the shallow end).
    The deep end had 3 diving boards including a high board that was at least ten feet above the water. It seemed much higher then. There was also a balcony around two sides of the pool where the public could watch the swimmers. I think that parts of the balcony are still visible in the other part of the gym. It was a great place for a kid, especially in the winter.

  • ellymay

    Your memories of the pool make it sound like a wonderful place. I swam there in the 60s and I remember the mural but not the waterfall. But I did think it was beautiful.
    Funny, but I just went to look at Eastern Athletic club, re: membership, and I had no idea that the pool they showed was part of that special is so small.

  • whodiditandran

    Small, yes, but when you consider that it makes up probably about 20% of the original pool, you can imagine how large that one was. Largest indoor salt water pool of it’s kind, fed by artesian wells underneath the hotel…

  • Eddyde

    Here is an ad from back in the day…

  • Eddyde


  • Andrew Porter

    As you may remember, a couple of years ago they were thoughtfully taking more of the original tiles out and throwing them into a dumpster on Pineapple Street, from which I and others were able to liberate sections of the wonderfully colored art deco tiles, before they joined the remnants of Penn Station in a Meadowlands landfill.

  • Andrew Porter

    Here’s an ad for the St. George Pool:

  • ujh

    I also visited the St. George pool in the early 1960’s but don’t recall a waterfall. The swimmers could see their reflections in the high ceiling (polished copper?), and the diving boards were one 3-m and two 1-meter boards. Sun lamps were mounted on the walls surrounding the pool, and there were also steam rooms.

  • Christine

    Scouting NY posted an update to his article. Its a good. Below is his post.

    “Whoa. So apparently, I missed the biggest secret of all about the pool at the Hotel St. George – IT MIGHT STILL BE THERE.

    Any detective work would be most appreciated!”

  • Eddyde

    That’s the one I was trying to post, Thanks

  • Hicks St Guy

    I thought the water was fed directly from the NY harbor, hence it was salt. Heard it was pumped out at night and refilled in the morning.

  • whodiditandran

    Salt water, but not from the harbor (shudder). And given it’s enormous size, I don’t think it would have even been possible to pump out and refill it every day, although I wish they had. I got seriously sick from swallowing that water, and it wasn’t because of the salt.

  • Steve R.

    Okay, am I missing something here? The folks who own & operate the health club are the ones who originally opened it and who then did the renovations. Has anyone asked them? Wouldn’t that be the easiest way to get all the information? Just curious.

  • lien49

    As I recall, the three boards were 3ft., 6ft., and 9ft. My diving skill was such that the first time I dove off the high board, it felt as though my head had hit an iron pipe when it broke the surface!