America Stopped Building Pools

America Stopped Building Pools. Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, Gerome Sutton couldn’t wait for the weekend to hit Algonquin Park pool. It was like Christmas in the summertime for him, just pure joy.

The Desegregation Era

Louisville’s public parks got desegregated in 1955, a year before Sutton was born. That meant everyone could dive into the newly built Algonquin outdoor swimming pool on the West Side. It was a big deal, especially in those days.

Affordability Issues

But here’s the kicker: It cost 35 cents to splash around at Algonquin back then. Sutton and his seven siblings had to take turns because the family couldn’t swing sending all eight kids at once. Tough times, but swimming was worth it. –koin303

Public Pools Fade Away

Fast forward to today, and things aren’t as rosy. Louisville used to have 10 public pools back in the early 2000s, but now they’re down to just five for a bigger population. That’s not cool, especially when you consider that the heat’s getting worse due to climate change.

The Algonquin Story

Algonquin, the last pool standing in West Louisville, is in rough shape. It’s closed for repairs this summer, leaving around 60,000 people without easy access to a cool dip. And most of these folks are Black or from middle-to-low-income families.

More Than Just a Pool 

It’s not just about swimming – it’s about mental health, community, and staying active. Councilwoman Tammy Hawkins gets it. She’s bummed that kids won’t get the chance to learn to swim or have a spot to hang out during those hot summer months.

The Bottom Line

Public pools used to be a big part of American culture, but now they’re disappearing. It’s a bummer for folks who can’t afford private memberships or don’t have a pool in their backyard. And it’s not just about cooling off – it’s about having a place to connect and stay healthy, both physically and mentally.