This April 17, 2011, aerial shows just how close to the Natatorium the cement plant’s quarry has advanced over the years. The main section is at its maximum depth and the plant is starting to strip off the overburden on the north and west sides to expand in that direction.
The plant’s manager told me that he’s doing everything he can to keep from taking the tiny plot of ground the old indoor pool sits on. Click on the photo to make it larger.
Earlier Natatorium stories
“Marquette to Cut Emission of Dust” was the headline on page one of The Missourian on March 29, 1966, about the time I shot this aerial. The quarry is to the north of the cement plant. Click on the photo to make it larger.
In an understatement, Charles J. Line, vice president of operations and engineering, acknowledged that the dust “is a nuisance.” He pledged the company’s best efforts to alleviate the problem.
Dust from the cement plant coated cars, wash on the line, even the streets with a gritty white powder. Mr. Line said that to totally eliminate the dust would be virtually impossible; the reduction to half is about the best result which reasonably can be expected, he added.
Technology, regulations cleaned up the air
Looks like tighter regulations on pollution and better technology accomplished more than Mr. Line ever thought possible. Here is a photo I took Nov. 10, 2010 from the ninth floor of the Buzzi Unicem USA cement plant. The round object in the center is the equivalent of the dust-belching stack in the aerial photo from the 60s. The only thing I could detect coming out of the stack was heat, as evidenced by a slight distortion in the photo. The white building at the right of the frame is the Natatorium. The view is to the west.
I mentioned in the last post that the Marquette Natatorium was sporting new coat of paint when we drove past it Easter Sunday. I commented that the only thing it needed was to have the black accent applied to the name.
Black is back
When I drove past it this morning, someone had filled in the black. It looks good as new.
Don’t worry. This is the last post on the Marquette Natatorium for a long time. Unless, of course, they announce that it’s turning back into a swimming pool.
At the end of January, I posted a picture of the Marquette Natatorium taken in October 2009 paired with a photo my wife’s niece, Laurie Evertt (of Annie Laurie’s Antiques), shot January 29 of this year. Her photo (above) showed it looking pretty shabby.
You can follow this link to read comments readers posted after I wrote a little bit about the history of the indoor swimming hole.
Good news: Natatorium looks spiffy
The was some speculation that the building might be headed for the wrecking ball, but we had a pleasant surprise when we drove past the place on Easter. It was sporting a spiffy new paint job.
It needs some black paint inside the carved name to make it look like new.
It’s no longer being used as a swimming pool, but it appears the building will be around for us to appreciate for a few more years.