Where in the World is Evan: Bangor, Pennsylvania

Evan Kalish, the Living New Deal’s Researcher at Large, has traveled to Pennsylvania in search of more New Deal sites. He has discovered a fascinating New Deal vestige: a beautifully restored fragment of the Bangor PA Municipal Pool. Built by the Works Progress Administration, the pool was one of the few above-ground public pools built in the United States. The Art Deco, cement plaster architectural elements with brick insets are unique for this area and more commonly encountered in the Western and Southwestern United States. The above-ground design with bathhouses underneath was developed by Wesley Bintz of Lansing, MI. This configuration offered a cost savings of 25% to 40%, which made it an attractive solution for small cities impacted by the Great Depression. Construction started in 1936 and the pool opened on May 27, 1939. The pool was in service until the 1990s, when it was closed due to structural deterioration. The pool was demolished in 1996, but a wall segment that used to serve as the original entrance was preserved along with the original WPA plaque.

Evan Kalish travels the U.S. documenting New Deal buildings, leveraging original PWA documents, newspaper articles, and a keen eye for Depression-era architecture. He has visited all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Evan is responsible for more than 5,000 project pages on the Living New Deal website.

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