When St. Christopher’s House (the first building of The Church of the Holy Trinity) opened in 1897, the New York Herald described classrooms, a gymnasium, and in the basement, a “plunge bath,” that worked as “part swimming pool and part communal bath.” We are very excited to say that recent plumbing work in the mission house has uncovered the original Holy Trinity pool, and we hope to reopen the pool by summer of 2019.
The NY Aquatic Landmarks Preservation Commission is excited and has offered a grant, since the vault was done by the Guastavino family, who also created the church’s cloister ceilings. The Anglican Swimming Society (known as A.S.S.) is thrilled. The big A.S.S. hope is that the pool might be used for diocesan baptisms and the bishop’s office is very interested. (Also, a diocesan liturgist expressed delight at reintroducing the historic bishop’s bathing suit, the lavandi raritate sectam—though an additional top piece would be added for use by female bishops.)
Most exciting is that new technology in water filtration allows us to restore the pool to its original use—both for bathing and for recreation. Current HTNC programs will be moved to the upstairs gymnasium, but a nice bath will be possible beforehand. Health Advocates for Older Adults will lose their basement program space but will soon be able to offer water aerobics. Floating Mahjong boards have also been ordered.
Membership to the pool will be free for pledging members of Holy Trinity and neighbors may join at the levels of Noah ($100, rainy days only), Moses ($200 for a quick getaway), Rahab ($300 for singles nights), or John the Baptist (a $500 clothing-optional level that is still under review by the Vestry). For more information on the Holy Trinity pool, please contact the April Fool’s Office on the seventeenth floor of the mission house, just beyond the rooftop cannabis garden.