Brand Park Memorial Pool set to be torn down in 2023
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- After years of discussing the possibility of bringing back a piece of history to the City of Elmira, the Brand Park Memorial Pool has been deemed beyond repair and is expected to be torn down by the end of 2023. The art deco-style pool was designed by architect Wesley Bintz and is almost 100 hundred years old.
“This year, we said this is going to be the year we get quotes we're going to have to take it down,” Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell said.
Originally built in 1926, the Brand Park Pool served the community as a municipal pool. After flooding in the 1940s, the pool was rebuilt and dedicated to World War I and II veterans.
Families far and wide created lifelong memories swimming there until the pool was closed for good in 2006.
“Since that time, it's gone downhill,” Mayor Mandell said, adding, “The longer you let something sit vacant, the more it deteriorates.”
Over the years, there have been grassroots fundraising efforts in hopes of saving and restoring the historic pool for the community. However, the structure is so far gone, Mandell feels it's too little, too late.
“When I first took office, I talked to community development to see if there was any way to raise a couple million dollars (and) it just wasn't there,” Mayor Mandell said, adding, “It’s at a point now there's no way.”
Mandell says plans to re-purpose the property as a splash pad are already in the works. He said he hopes the new facilities will help local families create new memories at Brand Park.
“We need to add something to this park,” Mayor Mandell said, adding, “Sadly, it's going to have to come down, but the sweet part of it is at least we're going to put something in there and kids and families will have a place to come.”
Mayor Mandell hopes construction on the new splash pad will get underway in 2023 and be ready for the Summer of 2024.