Long before white man and calico-wearing white woman crossed the plains to Utah, swimming was a very popular past time in the territory now called the Beehive state. A favorite swimming hole of the native Utahns was the warm springs at what is now 800 N and 300 W. The Mormon pioneers quickly caught on and believed the sulphurous water had healing powers, building several different half-assed structures there. That’s why, in 1921, Cannon and Fetzer (an architecture firm), built a sturdy building, a Spanish Mission-style swimming pool and rec center in the same area called The Wastach Plunge.
The building has stuccoed walls, a red tile roof, curving walls and arches. This style was common in old Catholic missions, and was then adopted in California and slowly spread across the U.S.
In the early 1980s, after other swimming pools became more popular, and the homeless people of SLC adopted the warm springs for themselves, the swimming pool became The Children’s Museum. A handful of years ago, the Children’s Museum moved to the Gateway and left this treasure of a building empty.
I have always loved the building and I hope someday it will be used again. If I had the bucks I would open a yoga studio for homeless pets there – or something like that.