The Kelly Natatorium

November 1, 2011 | by Peter Woodall


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Masterman students | Photo courtesy Rachel Hildebrandt

Although most of the Fairmount Water Works was restored more than a decade ago, one spot has remained closed to the public: the long-shuttered Kelly Natatorium. The three-lane swimming pool was built in 1961 with funding from Philadelphia’s illustrious Kelly family–patriarch John B. was a three-time Olympic gold medalist in rowing, and daughter Grace became Princess of Monaco. Prior to that the building housed an aquarium, which opened 1911 after pollution forced the City to stop using the Water Works in 1909. ┬áThe City closed the pool in 1972 after it was flooded by Hurricane Agnes. It has not been used since, but we hope to open the space as part of Hidden City’s 2013 Festival.






About the Author

Peter Woodall Peter Woodall is the Project Director of Hidden City Philadelphia. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and a former newspaper reporter with the Biloxi Sun Herald and the Sacramento Bee. He worked as a producer for Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and wrote a column about neighborhood bars for

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