ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Brand Park Pool on Elmira’s southside hasn’t been used since 2005, falling into decay over the last 17 years. But the pool was once a bustling and popular summer attraction for the City.
The Chemung County Historical Society said that the original pool was built in 1926 and was known as “Municipal Pool”, as seen in the photo below. However, the devastating flood of 1946 destroyed the original pool.
The firm which designed the first pool, Wesley Bintz, was based out of Lansing, Michigan. It returned to design the current Brand Park Pool, which was built by Emmett Drilling and opened in July 1949, the Historical Society said.
The pool was named the Brand Park Memorial Pool to double as a World War II memorial.
However, by 1996, a study found “serious structural issues” with the pool, according to CCHS, and it wasn’t handicapped accessible. However, the Historical Society said little was done to correct the problems.
As a result, the pool was last used in the summer of 2005. By 2006, the quality of the pool was bad enough that the City of Elmira decided it was cheaper to close it altogether than to maintain is, CCHS said.
Today, the pool still stands on the southside in Brand Park. Doors are boarded up, walls are covered in graffiti, both inside and out, paint and concrete are chipped, leaves and debris fill the stairs, and trees grow in the middle of the pool. The future of the once-popular pool is uncertain, as the City hasn’t announced any plans to revive or demolish the pool
Click through the slideshows for photos of the original Brand Park Pool and the pool in 2022: