“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Jose in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

The Natatorium

The Natatorium Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 14, 2013
1. The Natatorium Marker
Inscription. This area was once the site of one of Alum Rock Park’s most popular attractions, the Natatorium, a large indoor swimming pool. Built about 1912, it attracted over 35,000 swimmers each summer season. For about 20 cents, park visitors could swim in the heated waters of the 45-foot-wide and 90-foot-long pool. The pool also boasted a long, straight slide, a one-meter diving board, and three diving platforms for those who were looking for more excitement with their swim.

The Natatorium was a full-service recreation facility with a spectator’s gallery, swimsuit and towel rentals, and an in-house laundry to keep everything clean and sanitary. The building also contained 51 mineral baths. These individual, tiled rooms could be rented for a small fee. Park visitors could enjoy a peaceful soak in a tub of hot sulfur water piped in from the park’s natural mineral springs. For over 60 years, people came from all over the valley to play at Alum Rock Park and swim at the Natatorium.

The Natatorium was closed after the 1970 summer season. Time had taken its toll on the old facilities and the structure was no longer safe or sanitary. The Park Commissioners and the City Council decided to tear down the building during the mid-1970s. Today, swimmers have access to many different neighborhood pools during the hot summer months, but
The Natatorium Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 14, 2013
2. The Natatorium Marker
none will ever replace the old Alum Rock Park Natatorium.
Erected by San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services.
Location. 37° 23.771′ N, 121° 48.178′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Alum Rock Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. This marker is located near the Maintenance Building,a short distance to the west of the Alum Rock Park Visitors Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15270 Alum Rock Road, San Jose CA 95132, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Alum Rock Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Welcome to Alum Rock Park (about 400 feet away); Alum Rock Log Cabin (about 400 feet away); Mineral Springs Grotto (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Flood of 1911 and Broad Gauge Rails (approx. 0.6 miles away); Steam Dummies & 25 Cents! (approx. 1.2 miles away); Electrification (approx. 1.3 miles away); San Jose High School (approx. 4.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in San Jose.
Also see . . .  San Joseans “Defy Death” at the Natatorium. Select article # 10
In the mid-1890’s the first swimming pool, the “Open Air Plunge” was constructed. It was a simple concrete reservoir which varied in depth from two to twelve feet. It was fed by the natural mineral waters from the park’s springs. To make it useful year-round, the pool was later enclosed within a large shed which helped trap the warmth of the water, but also held in the reeking sulphurous fumes. (Submitted on March 17, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Categories. Sports
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 319 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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