South Camden ParkPhoto from "The Dawn," a New Jersey WPA publication; August 1936 issue, page 14.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed Elijah Perry Park (then called “South Camden Park”) in Camden, New Jersey. Among the amenities were a “spacious bath house … swimming pool, 200 feet by 78 feet; [a] wading pool amid a playground for children; [and a] tennis court.”
Camden’s Evening Reporter described the facilities in June 1936:
The bath house is constructed of concrete block and stone. Its exterior is of salmon-tinted California stucco with white granite trim.
Locker rooms on the main floor are equipped with 1,600 clothing baskets of wire, each with a numbered brass tag. As many as 2,400 persons can use the bathing facilities at one time. Showers and footwash equipment are conveniently located at entrances to the pool.
On the main floor also is the filter and power and light control room. Two filtering tanks, of 5,000 gallons capacity each, with two 750-gallon pumps can turn over the 812,000 gallons of water in the pool three and a half times a day.
On the second floor is a recreational hall with dance floor and at either end is a large sun pavilion overlooking the pool. Here, as in the ground floor facilities, the north end is for men and the south end is for women.
The depth of the pool ranges from one foot to ten feet, with an average depth of five feet. It is submarine lighted. It fills from the top and is drained from the bottom. Surrounding it are 12 tall lantern-style light standards, each with two 1,000 watt lamps for night illumination.
The wading pool for children is 70 feet in diameter.
While the wading pool is still extant, current views suggest that the large pool has since been destroyed.
"The Dawn," a New Jersey WPA publication; August 1936 issue, page 14. Found at the Jersey City Public Library's New Jersey Room. "Officials Dedicate South Camden Park"; Evening Courier, Camden, NJ, Jun. 13, 1936.
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on January 9, 2015.
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