Garden City in Finney County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Big Pool
is a Finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs
The attraction, affectionately called the "Big Pool," is indeed a jaw-dropping mammoth concrete pond. At 320' x 220' it's larger than a football field with a surface area of 72,600 sq. ft. and holds 2.6 million gallons of water. It is so big that even a modest western Kansas wind drives miniature waves across the water's surface.
The real value of the Big Pool is as an historic Garden City landmark, tied to the community's heritage and identity. The pool was originally the inspiration of Mayor H. O. Trinkle in 1921. Amidst concern over the cost of construction, the pool became a hometown project. Every citizen was encouraged to pledge labor, materials or money. The Big Pool was dug and concrete poured by the people of Garden City. At is [sic] dedication on July 18, 1922, a band played as hundreds of people hit the water in unison to inaugurate Garden City's first summer swim season.
Time for a Change
By the late 1990s the Big Pool was badly in need of a facelift. After gathering input from a community pool committee, the City Commission retained Water's Edge Aquatic Design to prepare a master plan. Because of the $8 million dollar price tag, the pool project was broken down into smaller phases.
The Big Pool
As the first eager swimmers hit the waters of the
In 2003, management of the Big Pool was turned over to the Garden City Recreation. The Recreation Commission instituted the pool's first user fees. Though nominal, the change was significant in that it voided the Big Pool's traditional claim to fame as the "World's Largest Free Outdoor Concrete Municipal Swimming Pool." Improvements were made, new management was instituted and the attendance actually increased the year the user fees were instituted!
Improvement will Continue
The pool project will not be completed for several more years, but Garden City already has the best of both worlds. The community has a modern pool facility for swimmers of all ages to enjoy and a historic landmark has been preserved.
Don't miss the Big Pool Exhibit at the Finney County Historical Museum.
Erected by Kansas Sampler Foundation.
Location. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Garden City KS 67846, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ben Grimsley Arches (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Fe Trail (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Santa Fe Depot (approx. 0.3 miles away); State Theater (approx. 0.6 miles away); Windsor Hotel (approx. 0.6 miles away); Garden City History (approx. 0.6 miles away); Stevens Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); Charles Jesse "Buffalo" Jones (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Garden City.
Also see . . .
1. Swimming in the Summer, Garden City (Kansas). (Submitted on June 11, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. Garden City Municipal "Big Pool" Aquatics. (Submitted on June 11, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
3. Big Pool Photo Gallery. (Submitted on June 11, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Charity & Public Work • Entertainment • Man-Made Features • Sports •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 357 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.