The story in today's NY Times brings to mind the rather sorry state of outdoor swimming in Allston. The nearby DCR pool at Magazine Beach in Cambridge gets 5 stars, but on this side of the river the options are either the Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool (355 Chestnut Hill Ave) in the southwest corner of the neighborhood or the one hard alongside the Mass Pike, Soldiers Field Rd, and North Beacon St shown in the photo to the right.
This pool might have been quite nice before the Pike was built, and it is too bad that the mitigation for the Pike's construction (if there was any) didn't include relocating the pool to somewhere else. In its current location, you can just about feel the car and truck exhaust wafting down the hill from the Pike to the pool. Getting there by bike or foot is just about impossible. And the building doesn't seem to have been renovated since its construction (probably in the 1930s or 40s based on its architecture and condition).
The existing pool and building doesn't use that much land - at 100x300 feet it is less than 3/4 of an acre. Even still, I don't expect a new pool, useful for only 3 months of the year, to be at the top of anyone's list during the Community-Wide Planning of A/B North or any other planning exercise. But it also can't be that expensive to dig a hole and build a small, one-story bath house. While a swimmable Charles River may still be years away, a new, clean, attractive pool accessible by car, foot, and bicycle is worth considering.
Discovering the Cool Pleasure of New York City Pools - NYTimes.com