When I was doing a bit of research into architect Julia Morgan's pools, I came across this article from the National Trust for Historic Preservation that added a few pools to my wish list. The only one that seemed potentially in my near-term grasp was the Richmond Plunge on a point in the East Bay of San Francisco north of Oakland and Berkeley. I finally managed to align the stars to get in a swim here this past week and have found another pool crush.
From the moment I walked up to the building, I knew I was in for a special treat:
The original structure dates to 1926, one of the oldest municipal pools in the country, but the building ultimately fell into disrepair in the late 90s, exacerbated by earthquakes, and shut its doors in 2001.
Thanks to a community fundraising effort that blended both municipal and community raised funds, the pool underwent a massive restoration in 2010, restoring many of the historical features (e.g., like the brilliant tile-work around the facility and mural at the far end of the pool) while adding modern touches like solar heating and a much-improved water-cleansing process (source: New York Times).
The resulting "new/old" pool is beautiful to both look at and swim in.
If you ever find yourself with an opportunity to visit this community gem, I highly recommend it.