Asphalt Green Sports and Arts Center (Municipal Asphalt Plant)


The Asphalt Green Sports and Arts Center at 655 E. 90th St. is one of the area's major landmarks, with an iconic exposed concrete parabolic arch structure. It was originally the Municipal Asphalt Plant, and was designed by Kahn & Jacobs and erected in 1944 as a single space containing an asphalt mixing plant. In 1982, it was divided into multiple levels designed for neighborhood athletic activities by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum with Pasanella + Klein. In 1993, the Asphalt Green Aquacenter was opened with the addition of a new facility designed by Richard Dattner; "a sensuous postmodern construction in undulating brick, glass block, and bright green sash," proclaimed authors Elliot Willensky and Norval White in their AIA Guide to New York Architecture, 4th ed. The Murphy Center, the former Municipal Asphalt Plant now the landmark signature of Asphalt Green, houses gymnasiums, fine arts studios and a theater. The triangular Aquacenter building completes the Asphalt Green. The AquaCenter houses New York City's premier 50-meter competition swimming pool-an eight lane, two-meter deep pool with two movable bulkheads, hydraulic floor, diving boards and platforms, seating for 650 spectators, and four locker rooms. Related facilities include a Sports and Fitness Center and administrative offices. An undulating facade provides floor area to fit the pool on its compact side and expresses internal functions while relating the AquaCenter visually to the existing historic Murphy Center.

Constructed, 1944
Constructed, 1982
Constructed, 1993


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