We had to bite our tongue for 24-hours in anticipation of this morning's surprise announcement that the abandoned diving pool in Astoria Park will be converted into an outdoor performance stage! Local organizations such as the Astoria Performing Arts Center, the Astoria Symphony Orchestra, and Astoria Music & Arts will likely be some of the first to call the stage home.
The high dive hasn't been used for years and has become quite the eyesore. Back in the olden days, the high dive (and the main pool) was used for Olympic trials. There are also some amazing (disturbing) old photos of circus animals jumping from the high dive.
We've talked with Council Member Vallone about this possibility for years and are FREAKING THRILLED that it's become a reality. Here's the original post from a year and a half ago where we brainstormed ideas.
UPDATE (12:15p): Just got off the phone with Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center. She tells me Council Member Vallone is funding this project using $1,000,000 from his discretionary funding budget. Groundbreaking is set for 2012 with a completion estimated in Summer 2013. The new amphitheatre will have 1,500 seats.