The city's swimming pool in North Beach, at Lombard and Mason, has been torn down and everything but the roof is being replaced. The job will take until next summer, roughly a year and a half. The architect is a friend, Paulette Taggert, married to the owner of the William Stout design bookstore.
The reason the whole pool is being redone at a cost of just under $4 million is that one of the two pools in the building was sinking at one end. When I was swimming I could easily see that the water was below the hand rail on the shallow end and a foot over the hand rail at the deep end. I used to swim in this pool every weekday morning on my way to coffee in North Beach at Caffe Malvina. For the time being I am using the U. of San Francisco Koret Center pool. Modern, glossy and filled with yuppies. North Beach was very ordinary folk, including my 65 year old pal Jimmy, Chinese, who one day said the great thing about swimming is that he didn't think.
The other location is at 50 Oak, next to the corner of Van Ness and Market. In the basement of the building, owned for a long time by the Archdioceses, was a swimming pool fed by an underground river. The underground river runs from my current house on the east side of Twin Peaks, joins an underground river near my old 1960s house on the north side of Twin Peaks in the lower Haight, then runs out into the Bay in China Basin. The underground river runs through several miles of sand most of the way, leaving it very clean. I was surprised in 1965 when the Health Department closed the pool and required that it use water from the City Water supply. I loved swimming in a pool fed by an underground river. My office was in the Bank of America diagonally across the street.