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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Glen Park Municipal Swimming Pool (M.Svendsen photo, 2006)

Glen Park Bath House (M. Svendsen photo, 2006)

Glen Park Municpal Swimming Pool (M. Svendsen photo, 2006)

Glen Park Municipal Swimming Pool
355 Park Street, River Falls, Pierce County
Architect: Hagestad, Herman T. (engineer)
Date of construction: 1937

The Glen Park Municipal Swimming Pool complex was completed as a Federal jobs program project during the Great Depression. Construction began in the winter of 1933-1934 when President Franklin Roosevelt's administration rushed to get the unemployed to work during the first months of a new program - the Civil Works Administration (CWA). After heating the frozen ground with wood fires, workers excavated with pick axes and hauled dirt by wheelbarrows to form an 8 foot-deep hole measuring 105 by 40 feet for the pool. The construction crew poured concrete beneath an enclosure heated by seven wood-burning stoves. CWA laborers worked split shifts earning less than $8 per week to complete the pool by spring. Funding dwindled and the project stalled while the new Federal bureaucracy reshuffled jobs programs. Work recommenced through the Public Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration in 1936 and the pool finally was completed in August 1937. Five hundred swimmers and more spectators lining the fence greeted the pool's opening.

The pool complex also contains a well-preserved Craftsman Style bath house that was typical of the designs used for specialized recreational buildings in many local, state, and national parks during the decade of the 1930s. River Falls engineer Herman T. Hagestad (1908-1959) engineered and designed the pool. It was among his early works for the city of River Falls. His career would eventually include holding the position of city engineer and several terms as River Falls mayor. The continued use of the pool complex in largely unaltered condition is testimony to the success of Hagestad's design and the quality of its construction.

The city of River Falls continues to operate the Glen Park Municipal Swimming Pool; it is open during the summer swimming season.


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