The Dormont Pool dates back to 1920, when Andrew Philp used rocks to dam a creek by his Banksville Rd home to make a wading pool. In 1922, the borough spent $6,851 to create a larger dam for a swimming area and an ice skating rink. At the same time they also built a small wooden bath house. The pool was made to give people the feeling of being in the tropics.
In 1923, Dormont Borough decided to turn it into a concrete pool with fine sand along the edges of the pool making it resemble a beach. This project took several years and had a budget of $14,867. On July 4, 1929, the pool and the new bathhouse were dedicated.
The pool itself is accompanied by a 1928 Art Deco style bath house. The three-floor bathhouse serves several purposes. The lower level houses the pool’s filtration system, the main floor is divided into two main areas for the men and women and the top floor is a community room which is rented to individuals and community groups. The pool itself is about 1.85 acres or 60,000 square feet.
Dormont Pool has survived the Great Depression, World War II, and has opened every season. It was declared a Historic Landmark in 2002.
Some minor changes have occurred over the years but the look and feel of Dormont Pool has remained. It is still one of the largest public pools in Pennsylvania and is enjoyed by residents of not only Dormont but surrounding communities and scores of people when they visit the area. It is one reason many people choose to live in this borough.
“The greatest distinction comes from its history of holding the title the largest outdoor pool in Pennsylvania. Completed in 1937, the Dormont Pool has a water surface area of approximately 57, 000 square feet (over 1.3 acres) and contains approximately 1.5 million gallons of water.”
“Dip into History: Five Historic Pools and Swimming Holes in Pennsylvania by Elizabeth Shultz, Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office – https://pahistoricpreservation.com/dip-into-history-five-historic-pools-and-swimming-holes-pennsylvania/
“Largest Pa. pool labeled ‘historic'” by Erik Siemers, Pittsburgh Tribune – https://archive.triblive.com/news/largest-pa-pool-labeled-historic/