Rochester, NY

Memories of the Brown Square Park Pool in the '60s and '70s

Herbie J Pilato
Photo byRochester City Hall Photo Lab


I grew up in the inner city of Rochester in the 1960s and '70s, near Brown Square Park, which remains located in the shadow of the Eastman Kodak Company's global main office on State Street.

A Closer Look

Adjacent to Kodak's headquarters, Brown Square Park is located at 251 Verona Street on the site of the original Brown Brothers' Tract. Brown Square Park was designed by the firm of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Summers at Brown Square are especially memorable due to the terrific Puerto Rican Festivals that used to be set up on its grounds, along with the park's pool.

The Brown Square Park pool was like a "cement pond," per TV's The Beverly Hillbillies, a round concoction made of cement and black tar, with a big fountain spurt in the middle.


The Brown Square Park fountain pool, which has long been gone, was only three feet deep at its center, and although its tar-laced spaces and rough cement floor would frequently cause swimmers to scratch their knees, for an inner-city kid in the 1960s and '70s, it was a little piece of Heaven.

[This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events directly experienced by the author.]

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including the newly-published CONNERY, SEAN CONNERY biography, the revised BIONIC BOOK, RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, and more. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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