Entrance to the pool Alice Keith Park
The Alice Keith Park Swimming Pool in Beaumont, TX was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938. A ten-acre municipal tract, Alice Keith Park was constructed in 1932 to help alleviate unemployment and provide a recreational space in the southeastern section of the city. The Superintendent of Parks and Recreation remarked after the pool’s completion: “As a WPA project, which included sewer lines, sidewalks, and other park improvements, the pool was constructed and landscaped in about six months and was opened May 28 , designated as city-wide ‘Splash Day.’ The pool is the last word in modern appearance, equipment and furnishings. Ovid in shape, it is seventy by 105 feet in size and it resembles the first Bintz pool built in Beaumont except that improved details have been included as a natural development of twelve years.”
The pool was the centerpiece of a carefully planned public works project pursued in the midst of economic recovery. An important principle guiding the design of both the park and the pool was that working-class families and residents of southeastern Beaumont deserved open recreational space for leisure and play. It should also be noted that the pool was one of several segregated ones built in the city during the twenties and thirties, including the Liberia Park Swimming Pool constructed to serve the city’s black residents a few years earlier. Disinvestment and decay ultimately led to the pool’s replacement in the late 1990s. The entrance is all that remains today.
Work Project No. 6552, Official Project No. 65-66-7087. All that remains today is the entrance.
Frank Bertschler, “Four Municipal Pools Provide Popular Recreation,” Parks and Recreation, date?
Allan Turner, “Depression-era pool going down the drain: 1938 Beaumont facility will likely be replaced,” Houston Chronicle, June 1, 1997.
Project originally submitted by Eveline Evans on January 26, 2019.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE