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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Butler Pool ~

It was a great pool. No longer in use.
We loved it.
Thanks: Barbara Bloom
Photos

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

HI Charles,

This was called "The Butler Pool" and it was located at the entrance to Memorial Park. The reason I'm certain (besides the scenery) is the inclusion of the 'baby pool,' seen behind the upper corner of the larger pool.

Of course, it operated every summer, all summer when I was a kid (late 50's-60's). I'm thinking Tom Erdos, a champion swimmer from Butler High School class-60's was head life guard one year; others (Red Cross certified--at the Butler Y) were hired in the summer.

I'm not certain when the pool closed for good except I seem to remember reading in the Eagle that it was for economic reasons, that repairs and updates were too expensive. By this time, as well, the newer Alameda Park pool was in operation.

Anonymous said...

Charles,

I should've mentioned that the facility was owned by the City of Butler; there was a concession stand inside the fence, in the yellow brick building that contained locker rooms and all the equipment. I believe to the right of the photo were a couple of rows of bleacher seats, although I'm not sure what they were for--don't recall any competition. Inside the lockerrooms, one could change into a suit, placing clothes and possessions into a wire basket. I'm pretty sure you were given a round metal tag with the basket number, attached to a thin elastic wrist band.

I don't remember what it cost to get in!! Which makes me think it was free.

And in all those years, I don't remember any serious (i.e. drowning) accidents; don't remember that any pedophiles or perverts were arrested, but I DO recall that on couple of occassions, the cops busted or discovered people going over the fence and swimming after hours.

Oh and how about this in the day and age of lawyers and liability: in addition to two regular diving boards, there was a high dive as well. The rule was that once you went up the ladder to the board, the only way down was off the end. Scary!

Anonymous said...

Looks like this picture was taken from the roof of the locker rooms/concession stand. I remember the grassy area to the left of the pool where we would all sunbathe. That was before sunscreen and concern about skin cancer.

Anonymous said...

Frozen Zero bars from the concession stand, the best on a hot day

Anonymous said...

Great popcorn too. I spent many summers there. It was a quarter to get in but you could buy a season pass at the city building,saved quite a bit if you were like me and went a lot. I just returned from Butler and it was said to see the state of the pool. To whomever I went to Sippery Rock for a Bob's hoagie it was really good. Otherwise Butler is lookin' good.

Bob Dorcy

Anonymous said...

I have very pleasant memories of the Butler Pool and I remember the terror as a young child making my first jump off the high dive. As stated in a prior posting there was no turning back after you hit the first rung of the ladder. It was a rite of passage in my neighborhood. From the South Hills we used to take the city bus to the old terminal and walk to the pool. We used to roll our towels into a tight cylinder with gum bands in the rough shape of a football and play catch the entire way to the pool. We would get a hot dog if we had a few cents and at dusk then head to the little league field in the park to watch the game. It was a great community resource supported by the taxpayers – I doubt if it could be replicated today.
Jerry Friedmaneraiag hitchalf

gpoole said...

I remember this poole well.I would go as much as possible except when I had little league game down the road from the pool.I remember diving off the high board with the likes of Jim Dubyak, John Smith and Dave Shidemantle.I remember all the the playgrounds having a swimming meet there every year.Glorious mmemories

Anonymous said...

Moonlight swims were the best!

Anonymous said...

The "new" water slide was installed just before the pool closed for good. Oh well. What's a couple hundred thousand more dollars down the drain?

Anonymous said...

How ironic---the Butler Pool is now closed and fallen into disrepair, yet look at the photo (and from my memory)--this obviously was a happening place back in the day.

How much Butler (apparently) has changed since I left all those many years ago. For whatever reason, it hurts. I guess Tom Wolfe was right after all--'you can't go home again.'

Anonymous said...

I remember going to the pool when I lived in the city and a few times after we moved to Center Township. Several times during the 50's they closed the pool because of polio outbreaks. The place looks bigger from the photo than I remember but it was a long time ago.

R. Wertz said...

Mike Solomon, the 50's disk jocky of WISR (he with the distinctive English accent)would play the popular tunes of the day from poolside each Saturday during the summer.

Anonymous said...

Remember the "Water Shows"!!!!

Anonymous said...

The pool opened in around August 12, 1950. City councilman George Kapp opened it when he jumped off the high diving board. About 500 showed up to swim that day. The last few years it was open, they were lucky to 500 in a month.

Anonymous said...

We used to walk or ride our bikes to the pool from East Pearl Street during the summer. The pool would be packed and you could have a blast doing off the high dive and/or watching the older kids to flips and other crazy things off the boards. Leaving the pool, one had to watch out for some of the bad kids waiting to pick a fight.

Anonymous said...

In the summers of 1953-54 I worked for George S.,the owner of the Burger Hut. George had a mobile cart made to sell Italian Ice. I remember getting a block of ice from the ice house in the morning and pushing the cart to get to the Butler pool at the opening. It was a great job. I got no hassles from anyone.
Today I doubt the Department of Health would allow such an operation.
I have only good memories of the Butler pool.

Anonymous said...

In the early days they had a sun deck on the roof top. We kids could kill a whole afternoon at the pool. What fun times. It is a shame today's kids will never have the fun memories of things like that. Their only memories will be Xbox and organized activities their parents drive them to. Not the adventures of having a day with you friends creating our own adventures.

Anonymous said...

Many a day spent at that pool in the 50's. What fun with friends and checking the girls out on the grass lawn area. As I remember it, the roof of the building was tarred and smelled stronger as the sun got hotter... great there were boards to lay on.

Anonymous said...

lol....frozen Zero bars..... thats the only thing i remember!

lightningdave said...

i lived in this pool as a kid in the '60.

Anonymous said...

After spending nearly every summer day swimming at the pool -- after i was old enough to walk there myself -- my first job ever was handing out the baskets for clothes. there round metal tags with numbers stamped on them on an elastic band that you wore around your ankle or wrist. The next year I worked in the concession stand (what a GREAT job that was for a chocoholic) and then was a lifeguard. This was in the early 70s. Romeo Cammissa managed the pool back then. My pal Mary Gamble was the cashier.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy this blog as it brings back memories from my youth, including many days at the Butler pool. What I don't appreciate is the comments of this Corey who thinks he is so clever and funny. Sir, you have the world's worst sense of humor and as a Butler blog follower, I can clearly confirm that you have ruined what otherwise would be a nice service. It is obvious that you only amuse and bring pleasure to yourself with your twisted ramblings. Perhaps, pleasuring yourself too frequently is the root of your problem. I implore you, please keep your keyboard in the closet with your other fetishes, and leave this blog alone.

Anonymous said...

Nobody seems to be posting any more except for Corey Gaudino. He only posts nonsense.

Maybe its because the two words you have to type to post a comment are almost impossible to decipher?

GPOOLE said...

It's idiots like Corey who try to be funny and ruin a nice site.I am sure he will have a stupid reply.

Anonymous said...

We waited and waited for the pool to open. All summer one delay after another. Then the day came for it to open. You mention only 500 came. Maybe that was because it was a chilly cold day for August. We had to cover ourselves using our towels as a blanket or cover up to our shoulders in the water just to try and keep warm.

Anonymous said...

After swimming we always stooped at the little store on Miller street by the bridge. It was run by a very nice old copuple (Jastraubs). they were very nice to kids.

Anonymous said...

The slide was sold and removed this summer. Rumor is it may be filled and a spray park put in its place..if there is enough support.

Jim C said...

Between the swimming pool and baseball field was a pond that we would scrape the snow off and ice skate until our fingers were froze. There was a log cabin there also with a fireplace that we could keep warm. No doors or windows just a place to get out of the wind.

Anonymous said...

I too remember the Butler pool as a young girl only my memory is a nightmare. I have never spoken of this and I am now 66 years old.i am still haunted by the life guards.I believe name was Sam L., you know who you are.I was molested by him in the water as the other lifeguards watchedand laughed.In 12 feet of water.I screamed but they laughed.Thanks .for the memory.