Heads up, eastside parents! Here are two cute neighborhood pools open for the season where you can take your kids to cool off. No lap swimming here, but plenty of fun to make up for it!
COSTELLO POOL & PECAN POOL (map)
3121 E. OLYMPIC BLVD. / 120 S. GLESS ST.
(BOTH ARE NEAR I-5, OFF SOTO ST. EXIT / 4TH ST. EXIT)
323.526.3073 / 323.526.3042
RECREATIONAL SWIM SCHEDULE:
JULY 5 - AUGUST 29
MON-FRI: 11am - 3pm, 4pm - 6pm (AUG. 23-29, 2-6pm)
SAT-SUN: 1 -5 pm
COST: $2.50 / $2.00 w/ library card (KIDS & SENIORS FREE)
I decided to go and check out a few little pools today that are also located in East L.A./Boyle Heights, pretty near to my house. The first of these, featured in the photo above, is Costello Pool, a historic site that was constructed in 1947 by the famous comic actor Lou Costello, in remembrance of his infant son who died in a drowning accident. It is part of a larger recreation center that includes a playground, ball field and dining hall for youths and seniors. The pool itself is of a decent size and has a depth of 10 feet. And, as you can see, it was somewhat busy. I didn’t go inside so I can’t vouch for the changing areas, but I do know they exist!
The second, even busier pool I checked out is called Pecan Pool. It is very similar in size and layout to Costello Pool, and is also part of a larger recreation area that includes a basketball pavilion, gymnasium building, ball park and playground. This pool used to have two 25m lanes set up for lap swim on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but according to the very helpful manager there, the actual plastic lane buoys have all broken and replacements are not forthcoming. So no lap swimming here for the forseeable future, sadly. Changing areas are super basic, with open air roof.
Now, I can’t lie - both of these pool complexes are in an area of L.A. that is not exactly the nicest, and both are in need of some serious TLC. However, if you are just looking for a place to get wet and chill out I think they are perfectly fine. Also, there is some reason to have hope that both will receive the improvements they need at some point, if the city every gets out of its horrible debt. There is already a 2008 AIA award-winning plan for the total renovation of the Costello Pool and Bathouse that seems to have received an OK from the city, but, according to some very boring city documents I perused, its implementation had to be deferred for a few years due to the budget shortfall. Definitely check out the link above and the picture below - the minimalist space would feature ”a contemporary gender-neutral, open-to-the-air configuration” inside, locally-commissioned mural art outside, and sustainable materials/systems throughout. And, most importantly, there would be a new 38’ x 75’ competitive 5-lane pool! All in all, it looks like a truly transformative project that would make this low-key locale a swimmer’s hidden paradise! Totally modern, totally L.A. Awesome!
Also, just this month the Pecan Recreation Center installed a bunch of solar panels on top of its pavilion and thereby became the first L.A. Parks and Rec facility to officially go off the city’s electricity grid. The panels will actually ”generate enough energy to power 22 homes” in addition to the needs of the center, and garnered a rebate check of $113,532 from the Department of Water and Power, according to this L.A. Parks News and Informantion blog post (with pics). Pretty cool, I’d say. Let’s hope that good works like these continue in our fair city!