John Jay Park Pavilion

John Jay Park at East 77th Street
Jaroslav A. Kraus

John Jay Park is bounded by FDR Drive to the east, East 76th Street to the south, Cherokee Place to the west, and East 78th Street to the north. This park was planned as early as 1891, but the parcel of land wasn’t acquired by the city until 1902. The first public bath house was erected in the park in 1906, to be replaced by the red brick and limestone park pavilion seen today at the park’s northeastern corner. Built in 1913-14, the pavilion was designed in the Tudor Revival style, which was gaining popularity at the time. The swimming pool in front of the pavilion was added in the early 1940s under the tenure of Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, an avid swimmer and champion of public pools, and designed by Aymar Embury II, the Parks Department architect responsible for the numerous pool complexes constructed across the city in the late 1930s and early 1940s under the Works Progress Administration. At the same time as the pool went in, the pavilion underwent renovations to provide park goers with an auditorium, recreation room, gym and changing facility for nearly 2,000 bathers.