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Hoyt Park

 

Not Your Father's Hoyt Park Pool

Hoyt Park Pool

Hoyt Pool

Hoyt Pool Basket

Hoyt Pool Basket

Hoyt Pool Basket Pins

Hoyt Pool Basket Pins

Yes, not only is this not your father's Hoyt Park Pook, it not yours! The pool area and building are completely new and bares little resemblance to the pool which we swam in our youth.

For those who went to swim there will probably remember most of the following:

  • The coldest water of any pool this side of the Artic Circle.
  • "Little boy/girl can you swim from the wall to the ropes?"
  • The open air changing area.
  • Putting your clothes and other valuables into a basket and receiving a brass pin to wear on your swim suit.
  • The really cold showers which was required for pool entry.
  • Having your toes checked upon entry to the swimming area.
  • Buying candy, ice cream, or other treat at the concession area which was not in the pool area.
  • Lying on the cement which had these small black crystals in order to warm up. Did we mention how cold the pool was?
  • The lack of diving boards.
  • You couldn't bring anything into the pool area. No additional clothing, no toys, no towels, and no food or drink.

In 1937, the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) started building the pool and bathhouse which were completed by 1939 when the pool opened to the public. However, the pool was closed in 2003 because of a severe water leak and of course because of funding problems. Most everyone did not know about the water leak, but we did suffer the consequences. The reason why the water was so cold was because the leaking caused the pool water to be continually replaced with 50° Lake Michigan water. So the leaking was hardly a new problem.

The pictures above were taken in July of 2003 when there should have been a filled pool and lots of swimmers, but that is the year it closed. Not only was it closed, there was little hope of it ever opening again.

 

Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool

In 2006 a group formed called the Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool for the purpose reopening and revitalizing the pool. They apparently had enough early success in fundraising to negotiate a 55-year lease with Milwaukee County giving them control over the design and build process plus ongoing operations of the new pool. The project got a major boost when the Tosa Foundation donated $4 million for what became an $11 million renovation. The Tosa Foundation is a non-profit formed by John Morgridge and his wife, Tashia, both Wauwatosa natives. John Morgridge was a member of the 1951 state, suburban and Cardinal Relays champion swim team. He is the former CEO and Chairman of Cisco Systems, a California company renowned for its routers. He grew up on Stickney Avenue.

The new pool and completely renovated building were complete by 2011 and opened in May of that year. The Landing at Hoyt Park was completed in July of 2013. The Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool continue to operate the facility and no public money is used.

 

Hoyt Park Footbridge

The footbridge over the Memonomee River was constructed in 1937 which was the same time as the pool and bathhouse. It became an iconic structure with countless people (often on bikes) crossed this bridge over the years. The comedian Steven Wright had a joke, "Last night somebody broke into my apartment and replaced everything with exact duplicates." In 2016 that's essentially what happened to the footbridge. It had become structurally unsound and it was almost completely torn down and rebuilt to look exactly like the old bridge.

 

Hoyt Park Pictures

Some pictures of Hoyt Park which is the venue for our informal 48th reunion. Our main area is Picnic Area 3 which is located just northwest of the footbridge across the Memononee River.

Hoyt Park Aerial

Hoyt Park Pool area aerial

Hoyt Park Aerial

Hoyt Park Pool area aerial

Hoyt Park Picnic Area 2

Hoyt Park Picnic Area 2

Hoyt Park Picnic Area 2

Hoyt Park Picnic Area 2

Hoyt Park Picnic Area 2

Hoyt Park Picnic Area 2

Hoyt Park footbridge over the Menomonee River

Hoyt Footbridge

Hoyt Park footbridge over the Menomonee River

Hoyt Footbridge

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing

Hoyt Park Pool - The Landing

The Landing