|“New Gymnasium and Natatorium at Douglas Park,” Chicago Daily Tribune, August 1896.|
Agreeing to the request, the commissioners soon hired Bohemian immigrant architect Frank Randak (1861-1926) to design the facility. He produced a brick natatorium with turrets, pitched roofs, and open courtyards that had separate outdoor pools for men and women. Randak’s complex included a quarter-mile-long running track with gymnastics apparatus—parallel and horizontal bars, trapezes, swings, vaulting horses, and ladders in the center of the oval.
|With separate pools for men and women, the 1896 Douglas Park natatorium was the first swimming facility in a Chicago park. Douglas Park Men's pool. (1900)|
|This photo of the women’s pool dates from 1914.|
The impact of changing recreational trends accelerated over the course of the 20th century.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.
Pretty nice facility! My husband's family (Polish and Czech) came from that neighborhood.ReplyDelete