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War Memorial Natatorium

Livonia, Michigan
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143 posts
36 reviews
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War Memorial Natatorium

Wow. What's the story nowadays on this thing? I jogged past this a bunch of times and was fascinated to learn more. From what I could find on Google it was built in the 20's but slipped in to disrepair. Was it fresh water or salt water? Was it used strictly for competition or was it open swim? Was there a charge to use it? Looking through the fence, it doesn't look like soemthing I would ever want to dip my toe in, but I bet it was nice back in the day. Oddly, the restrooms are still in use and semi-clean.

California
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for Oahu
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45,992 posts
19 reviews
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1. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Memorial_Natatorium

http://natatorium.org/

A couple places to start -- and you can do a search on the StarAdvertiser webpage, too. Dusty, MsFuzz and/or Amberloo can give the local view.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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49,953 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

I don't know much about the history but when I first moved here 10 years ago, the city was trying to renovate it. Big problems, they started and stopped. Latest on it is the city now is trying to tear it down. They do want to keep the facade as it is a War Memorial. The thinking now is to move that inland a bit and restore the beach as it was before the Natatorium was built.

Edited: 01 August 2011, 21:03
Sydney
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499 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

ahhh thanks for asking this question..., I too jog past this and have been curious about it...

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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4. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

Freaking coolest pool in the world. It was salt water, real salt water from the ocean just like on many cruise ships.

At 100 yards long, it is one of the longest pools ever regularly used for competition. They had the money to restore it and restored a lot a few years ago, but as always a small minority was able to block it using the courts.

To keep this travel related.... you should visit the War Memorial when you are in Honolulu.

I am dying to go try this pool.

…blogspot.com/2007/10/worlds-largest-swimmin…

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Honolulu
Honolulu
Oahu, HI
Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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5. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

scott, that is one big pool.

I usually take visitors to the Natatorium for it's history. We peek inside to see the pool which is crumbling.

Best guess about it's future is what msfuzz said.

By the way, it is really a nice walk on the sidewalk next to the beach. Great photo-op of the hotels in the main part of Waikiki.

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Waikiki
Waikiki
Oahu, HI
Honolulu, Hawaii
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11,159 posts
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6. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

The primary problem with any full restoration project is that there is NO WAY the pool could obtain a permit for public use from the State Health Department.

It simply can't be made clean enough to meet basic water purity and safety standards as an ocean-fed salt water pool in its current configuration according to department officials. And they have consistently been unwilling to make concessions or support enough changes in the health code to make it workable.

They would have to put in an extensive pumping and filtration system, redo all the in-water surfaces, and take out the sand bottom. It would cost a fortune.

I like the most recent plans (several years old now) where they were going to tear out the ocean-side wall of the pool and make it open to the sea, construct some groins and bring in some sand to make it a huge new addition to the Kapiolani Park beachfront. The most creative had them demolish the bleacher seating, terrace the stands area, and turn it into cafes or picnic dining with a spectacular view.

Not much disucssion lately. And with the financial situation of the State and County, probably not much in the near-future, either.

Additionally, they got their hands full in Waikiki from an environmental perspective with all the hu-hu regarding the proposed beach enrichment/expansion and redevelopment at the Moana.

In the good old days, the Sans Souci beach area right next to the Natatorium was the ultimate skinny-dipping place along the Waikiki beachfront.

Now those are some great memories.

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Kapiolani Park
Kapiolani Park
951 Reviews
Oahu, HI
Sans Souci Beach Park
Sans Souci Beach Park
75 Reviews
Oahu, HI
Waikiki
Waikiki
Oahu, HI
washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
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22,867 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

Thanks for another great history lesson, guys and gals! Love it!

Livonia, Michigan
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143 posts
36 reviews
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8. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

Yes, thank you all. So it was once open to the public?

Oahu, Hawaii
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for Oahu
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9. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

Aloha,

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku took the first inaugural swim on his birthday, Aug. 24,1927. It was his 37th.

natatorium.org/happy-birthday

Sydney
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499 posts
5 reviews
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10. Re: War Memorial Natatorium

wow look at that pool you linked to scott! WOW! !!! I so want to go there now...