Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ann Buttenwieser: 1st Life - Motherhood, 2nd Life - "Floating Pool Lady"

                                                                                                                         (Photo: Etienne Frossard)

Ann Buttenwieser did more than take her four children to the park. She advocated for more of them and in more neighborhoods. With her family grown and flown, Ann had time to realize how much she liked this urban planning thing.  So she went off to Columbia University to get a Ph.D. in it.  That's when Ann learned about the floating pools that existed in the rivers around New York City at the turn of the century.  They were meant for pleasure as well as better hygiene at the time.  Why not resurrect and improve on this concept to provide more recreation for those underserved communities for this new century?  And so she did. Ann campaigned for 20 years, secured all the permits and a location, founded a nonprofit The Neptune Foundation and saw her pool (it's actually a barge) finally float into place at Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2007.

Learn more how this remarkable woman made such a big splash. Ann really delved into the history and city planning of New York and has written a few books on the topic.  You can see a short documentary on how a floating pool actually gets built on Women's Voices for Change.  What's next?  Floating theaters, schools, homes?  Could be a better way to deal with our rapidly rising tides!


  1. I've read about these pools…and we have one local on the Hudson River in Beacon:

    1. Hi Ronnie, I love the idea although Ann doesn't seem to have the funding in place yet to continue her campaign but she doesn't give up easily. We need an indoor pool now. Brrrr!

  2. You pool picture is so cute! Have fun!