Elevated above the street and bigger than most, the deck at Murphy Pool gets put to good use. Plastic wading pools near the entrance give little kids a shallow spot to get wet. Benches along the perimeter make good spots to dry off. And when head lifeguard Rodger Caldwell blows everyone out of the water for a lecture on pool rules and regulations (as he does a few times a day), it can be nice to have some room to wander around.
There’s been a pool on this corner since 1925, when Murphy was known as the Greenwich Recreation Centre – check out theses great old photographs (under “History”), including one of the brick-wall-enclosed pool (since demolished and rebuilt). Today Murphy hosts huge flea markets and events for everyone from Mummers to the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia in addition to their own programming; in 2002, pro-wrestling outfit Ring of Honor launched their broadcast career here. This isn’t a neighborhood known for its trees, but huge ones line the sidewalks beside Murphy’s fields, creating a visual and psychological separation from Oregon Avenue’s industrial sprawl.
The pool is at 3rd and Shunk; its entrance is up a flight of stairs from the rec center fields.