Monday, June 25, 2007

Victoria Pool is open every day with huge crowds

Brief Update: The Pool looks gorgeous and the flowers are just beautiful. The attitude of staff is superb and they are all wonderful from the lifeguards to the Locker people to the pool operators. Everything seems to be geared towards making the pool patrons welcome and happy which we greatly appreciate and value. The water is crystal clear and more umbrellas are in transit we hear. Any requests from pool patrons are taken care of with all possible speed and with a cheerful friendly demeanor. The waitstaff at Catherine's are first rate and come over and ask people if they need anything at the lounges before they even get to the tables. Save the Victoria Pool Society is thrilled with all the positive changes. A seachange seems to be in the works for Saratoga Spa State Park. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

keep signing petition to get pool open memorial day in 2008 at victoria pool under petitions

Victoria Pool opens a week earlyUpdated: 6/17/2007 3:07 PMBy: Web Staff

If you're looking to make a splash with dad this weekend, why not cool off in the Victoria Pool at Saratoga Spa State Park?The pool has opened a week earlier this year after a petition was sent to the State Department of Parks and Recreation.It's seen a lot of renovations over the years with new locker
Pool opensIf you're looking to make a splash with dad this weekend, why not cool off in the Victoria Pool at Saratoga Spa State Park?
rooms, masonry work, and roof repairs just to name a few.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Save The Victoria Pool Society, Post Star 6/16/07

Locals anticipate Victoria Pool opening
By THOMAS DIMOPOULOS tdimopoulos@poststar.comPublished: Saturday, June 16, 2007
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DEREK PRUITT - DPRUITT@POSTSTAR.COM Save the Victoria Pool Society founders Andrew Jennings and Louise Goldstein stand next to their pride and joy in Spa State Park on Tuesday morning. Jennings and Goldstein started the society in June of 2003 to help revitalize the pool and ensure that it stays visible and open to the public. To order copies of staff-produced photos from The Post-Star, please visit
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick, tick ... splash.Louise Goldstein has been waiting nine months for this morning to arrive."Saturday at the crack of 10, we'll be there," she said earlier this week while counting down the days to today's opening of the Victoria Pool.Concerned over the future of the classic pool in the Saratoga Spa State Park, Goldstein teamed up with fellow advocate Andrew Jennings in June, 2003 to co-found the Save the Victoria Pool Society. Six months later, then-Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro announced $1.5 million would be spent restoring the pool. The next priority, Goldstein said, is having the pool open long enough for everyone to enjoy it.
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Traditionally, it has been open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend, she said.This year's opening was scheduled for June 23.State Parks officials said the northeast's cool spring temperatures and sparsely attended previous openings were both factors in deciding on the later date.Goldstein disagreed."Why isn't this pool open right now?" she asked, when joined by Jennings at a table overlooking the nearby pool earlier this week."Here we are, 80 degrees and beautiful," she said.

DEREK PRUITT - DPRUITT@POSTSTAR.COM Save the Victoria Pool Society co-founders Andrew Jennings and Louise Goldstein enter the old formal entrance to the Victoria Pool in Spa State Park on Tuesday morning. To order copies of staff-produced photos from The Post-Star, please visit
"This is Saratoga's best-kept secret," said Goldstein, looking down the long arched hallways of the buildings surrounding the pool. "From the outside of the building, you would never even know there is a swimming pool inside."Goldstein has been coming to the pool long enough to see the style of swimwear change from rubber-topped bathing caps to two-piece bikinis."I had my swimming lessons here when I was a little girl. All there was at the time then was the race course. Coming here during the summer when you were a kid was magical," she said, recalling vintage movie star visitors Bing Crosby and Sophie Tucker.Jennings, who has been coming to the pool for the past 25 years recites a more recent celebrity line-up."Cyndi Lauper, Liza Minnelli, people from the New York City Ballet have all come here," Jennings said. "You see the signs that read: Health, History and Horses. Hospitality is the new 'H.' This should be a national destination," he said.
A national destination was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's original plan when the Victoria Pool and a number of other park buildings around it were built more than 70 years ago.When Roosevelt was state governor, he hired an architect to create an American version of European spas that were popular at the time. The plan for what would become the Spa State Park became a reality after Roosevelt became president and put the Works Progress Administration into practice.Armed with an agenda of getting the pool to open earlier than June 23, Goldstein and Jennings secured hundreds of signatures on a petition. State Park officials later announced the pool would open today and Sunday, close during the week and reopen for the entire season beginning June 23."They gave us two days," Goldstein said. "We feel they responded to the voices of the people."Eileen Larrabee, spokeswoman for the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said opening June 16 or 17 was always a possibility.
"What we said all along was that if weather permitted and we were able to get our maintenance work done, we wouldbe able to open a weekend earlier," Larrabee said Friday afternoon."We are so pleased that the public loves the pool and love going there. And we're pleased that it has strong advocates as well," she said.The Victoria Pool will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $6 adults and $3 for children.When the pool opens, Goldstein and Jennings said they will be in their regular spot, under an umbrella and just to the left of the clock facing the pool.
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300+ happy faces, opening day, 6/16/07. John Tighe first in the pool in 2006&2007.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

keep signing: then put victoria pool under petitions

Schenectady Gazette: 6/14/07

NEWS BRIEFS Saratoga state park opens this weekend SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Victoria Pool at Saratoga Spa State Park is slated to open ahead of schedule this weekend. The pool will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday only, then close again next week and reopen for good on June 23, its official opening date. Good water-testing results led park officials to OK the early opening, although a petition circulated by the Save the Victoria Pool Society to open early didn’t hurt, said Park Manager Michael Greenslade. Closing next week is necessary because the park hires high school students to staff the pool and pool attendance is usually low until after school lets out for the summer, Greenslade said.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Saratogian, June 11,2007, Letter to the Editor

June 11,2007

Letter to the Editor:

In reply to the letter of June 4, 2007 from Peter Anastos about the Save the Victoria Pool Society. We have always been "selfish" on behalf of the citizens of Saratoga Springs and the Capital District having a beautiful place to swim financed by our tax-dollars from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Our "selfish" concern is also that future generations will be able to enjoy Saratoga Spa State Park, the Victoria and Peerless Pools, SPAC, the New York City Ballet and all the other buildings and trees and trails as we have our whole lives.
We quietly watched all of Saratoga State Park and its magnificent historic architecture and natural surroundings and springs deteriorate for many years while the state ignored our pleas for help. Save the Victoria Pool Society has never accepted one cent of private or public money but financed everything we have done out of our own very working class pockets. Save the Victoria Pool Society wishes there were more "spoiled" citizens willing to give up thousands of hours of their own time to fight the powers-that-be on behalf of restoring beauty and history to its rightful place.

Louise J. Goldstein and Andrew M. Jennings , Co-Founders
Save the Victoria Pool Society
See what's free at

Friday, June 01, 2007

Victoria Pool early morning summer line-up for admittance

Victoria Pool to open June 16, Albany Times Union

Making waves for Saratoga Springs pool's opening
State agrees to open Victoria Pool on June 16, one week early, after hearing from residents

By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer Click byline for more stories by writer. First published: Friday, June 1, 2007
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Louise Goldstein will be chilling waterside when the Victoria Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park opens on June 16. Of that you can be almost sure.
"Unless hell freezes over or there's a hurricane," Goldstein said.
The fierce advocate for the pool collected more than 200 signatures from area residents who objected to the state's scheduled June 23 pool opening. The signers wanted the stately swimming spot to open as soon as possible, preferably on Memorial Day weekend, as it once did.
But the pool stayed unfilled over the sunny holiday as workers painted and resealed it.
"It was lonely, empty and pathetic," Goldstein said.
Well, it won't be soon.
The state decided this week that, weather permitting, it will move forward the opening date of the Victoria Pool to June 16, said Eileen Larrabee, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Great Depression-era pool will close again from June 18 to 22 before becoming available for water and sun bathing on a regular basis beginning June 23.
"We have always said that if the weather cooperates, we will open earlier," Larrabee said. "We have said that in response to (Goldstein's) numerous requests."
The park's other swimming hole, the Peerless Pool, will not open until June 23.
The Victoria Pool last opened on or before Memorial Day weekend in 2003. But it averaged only 10 customers during the holiday weekend from 2000 to 2003, Larrabee said.
"The weather this time of the year in this part of the country is not reliable, so even when they've tried to open earlier in previous years, there was not interest in attending," Larrabee said.
Last year the pool opened on June 24.
The state made $1.5 million in improvements to the pool in 2004 and 2005 after Goldstein and Andrew Jennings of Ballston Spa organized the Save the Victoria Pool Society to raise awareness and pressure the state to make renovations. The work included new locker rooms, the restoration of fountains, a new clock, masonry work and roof repairs.
Goldstein has attended the Victoria Pool since she was a young girl. She says the Northeast needs all the pool time it can get.
May was warm all month, and the taxpayers of New York should have been able to enjoy what they pay for, she said. She calls the facility "the most beautiful pool in America ... magical."
Yusko can be reached at 581-8438 or by e-mail at
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