J.H. Moores Memorial Natatorium

Also known as: Moores Park Pool
2700 Moores River Dr., Lansing, Michigan

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Elevation.

Photo taken by Nathan Holth in July 2010

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Information About This Historic Site 

From Michigan Historic Sites Online

Other Names Moores Park Pool
Property Type swimming pool
Historic Use OTHER
Current Use LANDSCAPE
Style Other
Architect/Builder WESLEY E. BINTZ

Narrative Description
The J. H. Moores Memorial Natatorium is located in Moores Park in Lansing near the bank of the Grand River. The pool is an ellipsoidal-plan, above-ground structure with pumphouse, showers, and locker rooms located along the periphery of the pool wall. The pool is constructed of reinforced concrete and has a rubble-stone facade. The structure contains two levels: an upper level formed by the deck which surrounds the pool itself and a lower level comprising the interior space beneath the pool deck. The outer wall of the structure is faced with unsplit stone. The entrances to the structure's interior consist of two pairs of blue-painted metal doors. A balustrade of reinforced concrete construction surrounds the upper deck. The pool's depth ranges from twelve feet to thirty-two inches.

Statement of Significance
The J. H. Moores Memorial Natatorium is significant as the prototype of the "Bintz Pool" designed and patented by Wesley Bintz. The pool is also significant for its association with J. Henry Moores, a wealthy Michigan lumberman and philanthropist who played a vital role in the development of Lansing's public park system. Wesley Bintz was the City Engineer at the time the pool was commissioned in 1923. He resigned in the same year to devote his career exclusively to swimming pool designs. The Moores Park Pool is the prototype of what became known as the "Bintz Pool," an ovoid, entirely above ground structure containing lockers, showers, pumping and filtering equipment below the deck. The type found wide acceptance across the United States and hundreds were built in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. The structure was sensitively upgraded in 1980 by the City of Lansing.

Period of Significance 1901-1930
Registry Type(s) 01/14/1985 National Register listed
Site ID# P23393

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 14, 1985
Reference number
85000096
NR name
Moores, J.H., Memorial Natatorium
Area of significance
Engineering
Level of significance
National
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Structure
Historic functions
Outdoor recreation; Sport facility
Current functions
Sport facility; Outdoor recreation
Period of significance
1900-1924
Significant year
1923

Update Log 

  • July 11, 2010: Essay added by Nathan Holth

Sources