Barretto Point Park
Barretto Point Park is a waterfront public park on the East River located in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx. Its namesake is Francis J. Barretto, a 19th-century merchant and State Assemblyman who lived in the area.
Prior to 1950, the Barretto Point Park site housed a sand and gravel operation and an asphalt plant. Between 1954 and 1978, the placement of fill on the site increased the size of the upland. In 2001, Parks acquired the property from the City’s Department of Environmental Protection. The land on which the park was created was remediated and capped to make sure it was clean and safe.
Since 2008, Barretto Point Park has been host to a barge named The Floating Pool Lady. The 20,000 square-foot vessel contains an outdoor 25-meter swimming pool with a pool house; locker rooms with showers; bathrooms; a children’s spray shower; a gangplank leading to and from the barge; and other amenities.
The landscape of Barretto Point Park recalls the rustic atmosphere that once characterized Hunts Point and provides a popular outdoor gathering space for its residents. Accessible by canoe, the park provides views of North and South Brother Islands, bird sanctuaries with plenty of history spanning three centuries.
Tiffany Street Pier
To the immediate west of Barretto Point Park is the Tiffany Street Pier, a recreational space that predates the park and also offers views of the bird sanctuary islands in the East River. Previously used as a loading dock, it became popular with recreational fishermen and local residents in search of a quiet space on the waterfront.
In 1995, the city rebuilt the pier out of an innovative material produced from 1.5 million recycled plastic bottles. The hard plastic structure can withstand damage caused by wood boring marine insects but it succumbed to damage from the sky when a lightning strike in September 1996 melted a third of the pier, including its gazebo. The pier reopened in 2000 and in the following year, the City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services assigned the pier and surrounding underwater parcels to Parks. Although at the time, the pier was a considerable walk from residential sections of Hunts Point, it again welcomed individuals seeking fishing, sunbathing and a view of the water.
- McNamara, John History in Asphalt
- “Mayor Bloomberg Cuts Ribbon On $7.2 Million Barretto Point Park In The South Bronx” Parks Press Release 10/3/2006 http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/barretto-park/pressrelease/20262
- "Floating Pool At Barretto Point Park Receives Best Of Parks" The Daily Plant Parks Newsletter Dec. 30, 2008 "Keeping It Cool Award"http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/barretto-point-park/dailyplant/21855
- Almeida, Miguel “Just Sittin on the (Plastic) Dock of the Bay” New York Times 6/4/1995
- Grobler, John “Melted Pier is Worm-Free but it Melts” New York Times 9/8/1996
- Martinez, Jose “Melted Pier Reborn” New York Daily News 6/12/2000
- Foderaro, Lisa W. “Cleaner Harbor Has a Downside: Pests That Plague Park Construction” New York Times 8/23/2011