Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ravenhall Pool: Coney Island


After reading Luna Park Joe Bruno was reminded of his summers in Coney Island:
Ravenhall, which was a small city, something like Steeplechase Park, without the rides, where people bought seasonal passes. I had my own pass from about 1958, until around 1963, when Ravenhall burned down. Everyone I knew from both the 4th and 6th Wards spent their summers in Ravenhall. It was like having your own beach resort. There were several pools. A male and female locker area. Male and female solariums. Steams rooms. Several restaurants/bars. Basketball courts. Handball courts. And you had access to the beach though a turnstile, where you had your hand stamped to get back into Ravenhall.

3 comments:

Barbara said...

OMG how I remember Ravenhall. I was a very young girl living in Brooklyn (east side) and my parents too me to Ravenhall often. It was how I learned (??) to swim. I didn't actually ever learn to swim, but the swim instructor stuck a rope around my waist and threw me into the water. I guess I learned to swim, by swimming for my life. I remember my Dad used to use the bath's all the time....
sheeeesh, what memories

BigBennyD said...

My Pop, God rest his soul, used to take my older brother Joe and I to Ravenhall a few times every summer in the mid-50's to the early 60's. Though it was a long, 2 train journey from Bushwick Brooklyn down to Coney Island, we always looked forward to it. It was always an adventure to me. Pop would pack sandwiches of homemade peppers and eggs, or baloney on kaiser rolls into Brown paper bags and pack them in his little brown satchel that he always took on these excursions, along with our bathing suits. I remember vividly, the locker area, the ice cold "needle" showers, and the dark steam room that smelled of melted Ivory soap. They had 3 saltwater pools, One Olympic size pool, one diving pool and a kiddie pool, which, of course, was my favorite! They also had a playground with a big sandbox which was near the kiddie And diving pools . It seemed to me that the distance from the lockers and the Olympic pool were on the opposite side of the earth from the kiddie pool & the diving pool, although the whole property couldn't have been more than 2 blocks wide. I've been down to Coney Island for the last 2 Mermaid Parades, and wonder where that property was. In half a century, one's memory plays tricks, but I remember it being to the right (west) of Steeplechase Park, which would put it where the baseball park is now, I guess! Good times, loving memories of another era...:)

Teresa King said...

I stumbled across this blog by accident, but OMG I'm so excited that I did. I was born in Knickerbocker Village in 1958, and spent my early summers at Ravenhall pool. I attended Saint Joseph's on I think it was Catherine street for 2 years before my family moved. I vividly remember the neighborhood. The K7K candy store was on the corner, and my 9th floor apartment faced the bridge. It was a magical time. Thanks so much for bringing back those wonderful memories for me!
Sincerely
Teresa King (maiden name was Incognito)