Hidden Treasures: Swimmers
Practice Strokes All Year Long
By Madison J.
The swimming pool at Patton Park on Detroit's southwest side was
unique when it opened in 1951. Why? Because it was the nation's first
year-round pool of its kind. The
natatorium, on Woodmere and Vernor, opened at a cost of $400,000. The pool
is regular competition size, 42 feet by 75 feet, and ranges from 3 feet 6
inches to 10 feet in depth. Patton Park was chosen for the pool's site
because of several major factors:
The indoor pool becomes an outdoor facility when two of the glass
walls break away. When contracted, the west wall creates an 85-foot
opening, and the south wall opens 42 feet, although it is not operative
right now. The original plan called for doors that opened from the
ceiling, but the building's heating and ventilation design was
incompatible with their blueprint because ventilation would come from the
Director David Dorrell said the center has a swim team dubbed the
Patton Piranhas. Competition for the team will start this
Even though he's still trying to get the south wall repaired, that
doesn't stop swimmers from having year-round fun.
"We try and provide something for everyone, and that includes
families, adults and seniors," Dorrell said.
Copyright 1997, The Detroit News Photo-Jeff
- The 96 acres of developed park land was favored by the designers
-- Giffels, Valet and Rosetti Associated Engineers and
- The lack of a nearby recreational center.
- A location in a heavily industrial section of southwest