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Old Lincoln swimming pool bath house is getting a face-lift

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Muny Building

ADA improvements are being made on the west side of the old Muny Pool building as part of a redevelopment agreement for the Telegraph District.

An old swimming pool bath house is getting a mini face-lift.

Not the full-on renovation city Parks and Recreation Department officials would like to do at some point, but the old Muny Pool bath house near 23rd and N streets — which survived long after the city pool was closed and covered by a parking lot — is getting a new, accessible entrance and new doors on the west side.

Lincoln’s Municipal Pool opened in 1921 and closed in 1972, but the bath house remained, and its 1920s Spanish Colonial architecture earned it a historic designation from the Nebraska State Historical Society years later.

For years a parking lot on the east side was used by parents of young baseball players heading to Lewis Fields, but much of that lot disappeared when the Antelope Valley Project excavated the parking lot — including parts of the old pool basin underneath —  to create the Antelope Valley channel.

That essentially made the west side of the building the new entrance and — as part of an agreement to keep the building under city ownership — the developer of the Telegraph District agreed to make an ADA-accessible entrance from the parking lot on the west side.

It’s taken a while, but that’s happening now, and when that work is done, the city plans to replace the boarded-up doors beneath the arches with glass doors, said J.J. Yost, manager of planning and construction for Parks and Rec.

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For years the building has been used for storage and — for a number of years — Yost’s planning and construction division worked out of the building. The old showers are gone, replaced with drywall and an open area big enough to set up cubicles for office space, he said.

When Parks and Rec relocated to a building near the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department at 31st and O streets, the maintenance crew for Union Plaza remained stationed at the old building. Another city department has several people working there temporarily, Yost said.

Some day, Parks and Rec officials want to find a better use for the building, but first, they’ve got to find the money.

“We continue to think about and dream about what the long-term use of the building should be,” Yost said. “We haven’t figured that out yet.”


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Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist

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Local government reporter

Margaret Reist is a recovering education reporter now writing about local and county government and the people who live in the city where she was born and raised.

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