Richmond Swimming Pool, 75th Anniversary
(2007, Grand Rapids, Michigan)

City Manager George Welsh wanted a swimming pool on the city’s west side but he was frustrated by the budget of $18,000 which was allotted to him.

He asked architects for a better pool plan and they drew up one which would be 50 by 50 yards. It would be the biggest pool in the state and Welsh made it happen during the depression in 1932.

The pool at Richmond Street and Tamarack Avenue NW was built by using "scrip" labor. The men were paid 50 cents per hour in scrip coupons which could be redeemed for food and supplies at scrip stores in the city. He also used the scrip program to removed snow, clean riverbanks, build the Civic Auditorium, paint the City Hall and other projects.

The men knocked the mortar off thousands of recycled bricks to be used for building the pool bathhouse. These bricks were from a former factory that was torn down in order to use the brick’s for the bathhouse.

The swimming pool was dedicated 13 July 1932.

Created: 22 November 2007