President’s Report

Restoring the rotunda entrance, preserving the tree court

by Robin Cravey

Sketch of restored rotunda entrance

From the first days that we  began advocating for repairs and improvements at the pool, one restoration has stood out. Moving the main entrance back to the central rotunda fires the imagination. Now, as we work on the general grounds improvements, is the time to make that move. And it won’t cost much.

Soon members of FBSP and BSPCC will begin a capital campaign to raise money to move the entrance.  It could cost $100,000. We’re going to need help. If you want to lend a hand (or contribute!) email me at

The plan to restore the entrance is simple. Cashiers would receive money at the glass windows in front. Swimmers would enter through a new door in the front wall to the left of the rotunda, then amble through the middle of the rotunda and out the glass doors at the back.  They would arrive outside between the two dressing rooms.

This plan is a simplification of the master plan design, and it was sketched out by Emily Little. She is an architect, a member of the Austin Heritage Society, and a member of BSPCC.

Sketch of new entry

The benefits of this move are many.  Honoring the original grand design of the bathhouse, reducing long lines at the entrance, and improving the sense of place are all important.  But most important is removing the heavy foot traffic from the tree court. That will allow the tree court to change from a busy throughway to a more peaceful and natural place for enjoying the trees.

We are working with Parks Director Sara Hensley, the staff, council offices, and others to realize this goal. Its exciting.

Quick dips

The grounds improvements include many great projects.  They’re in design now.  Construction will begin later this year.  Total cost is projected at $2 million.  I’ve listed a few projects below.

  • Installing a new pump will allow the staff to use another high-pressure hose while cleaning the pool, giving us a cleaner pool.
  • Building an accessible trail from the south entrance to the pool deck will make it possible for parents with strollers and other mobility-impaired swimmers to use that entrance.
  • Burying the power lines and installing new lighting will add to the beauty of the pool.
  • Expanding the fenced area on the south side will make room for more swimmers and an improved layout.