FRIENDS OF BOISE HISTORIC POOLS

IMPORTANT UPDATES:
Feb. 1, 2024 -This month, the mayor and city council will be receiving an update on all Parks & Recreation projects, including the pools. It is very likely a decision on their fates will be made. Pleases contact your council representative and remind them how important these cultural, historic and community landmarks are! Click here to message your rep.!

History

The City of Boise closed Lowell and South Pools in 2020. These two pools were the only two city pools that didn't re-open in 2021. Citing structural and ADA issues, the City conducted extensive community outreach and gathered input to decide their fate.

Designed by architect Wesley Bintz, they are two of roughly 17 remaining examples of his work nationwide. Fewer than 17 are operational.

The Lowell and South pools were the first publicly-owned swimming pools in Boise, and today they are the city's oldest. Their historic beauty is defined by their Streamline Moderne style. 

They are a tourist destination for historians and preservationists. They were entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 2021.

They are Boise's "sister pools," two turquoise gems set in the sterling of our city. 

They are spaces where the summer sun baked happy memories into the lives of generations of Boise residents.The longer these pools sit unused, the more they deteriorate, the more it costs to rehab them, and more neighbors forget what it was like to have them as part of our lives. 

Join our efforts to help restore and preserve these pools for future generations!
Structural reports, cost estimates, and community survey information can be found here. 

SOUTH POOL | 1953

LOWELL POOL |  1953

Meet the Architect

Wesley Bintz was a native of Lansing, Michigan, who designed and patented a unique above-ground pool design. The patented "Bintz Pool" was "25% to 40% cheaper to build than a sunken pool and bath house of equal size, permanence, and details.” With fewer land and excavation requirements, the Bintz design sought to bring the benefits of aquatic recreation to cities throughout the country. 

Beginning in 1919, around 70 Bintz pools were constructed nationwide. Of the roughly 17 that remain, Boise is fortunate enough to have two! 

Given that they are all similar in age, cities across the U.S. have found themselves in similar predicaments. Fayetteville, MO completed a restoration of their Memorial Pool, and the Bintz pool in Chaffee, MO has just added a new feature to help increase accessibility. The people in Bintz's hometown of Lansing have fought to preserve theirs as well, but so very many more have been lost to time. 

Check out the Wesley Bintz Swimming Pool Network on Facebook for more Bintz Pool History. 

Project Updates

6-13-2023 - Marissa at From Boise does a deep dive (ha) on the history and current state of our beloved community pools. Read it here.

5-25-23 - Our historic pools turned 70 this year! Check out the birthday celebration at City Hall here

9-2-22 - The Lowell and South Pools listed in the National Register of Historic Places today!  We are so grateful for the support of the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office. We must remember that this designation does not save our pools from demolition, but it reinforces to our community their value as cherished pieces of Boise’s history and of Wesley Bintz pools in the United States.
Lowell Listing Packet  | South Listing Packet

6-10-22 BoiseDev recaps the City Council work session. Listen to the full meeting here.

National Bintz Pool Location Map

This map is a work in progress and incomplete record, but it is likely that Boise has the only two Bintz pools west of the Rockies!