Structure Type: built works - recreation areas and structures - swimming pools; landscapes - parks - urban parks

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1914

1 story

The Brookside Plunge opened on 07/04/1914 on land obtained by the City of Pasadena in 1912. Previously, the plunge site, known prior to 1914 as "Sheep Corral Springs," was pasture land for sheep from the San Gabriel Mission. In addition to this pool, the City of Pasadena built several significant facilities in Brookside Park, including an ampitheater (Brookside Theatre). Brookside Park Baseball Field (later renamed Jackie Robinson Memorial Field), and the Fannie Morrison Horticultural Center (later used for the Kidspace Children’s Museum).

When the pool opened in 1914, it was segregated, outraging the sizable African-American population of Pasadena. This kind of discrimination occurred in the South, but was not supposed to be as virulent in CA. In reality. segregated facilities were the norm in CA, too, and the Brookside Plunge became a landmark in the struggle for equal rights. When the plunge opened with a whites only sign, the active Pasadena chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) protested, and park administrators decided on a "fair" compromise. On Wednesdays during the day, the plunge would be opened for non-whites only; Wednesday evening was also the regular time that the pool would be drained and cleaned. This affront enraged local civil rights leaders who urged a boycott of the pool. (See "Current Exhibits: Brookside Plunge,"Accessed 08/25/2011.)

Demolished; the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center was built on this site in 1988-1989.

PCAD id: 16841