War Memorial Natatorium
War Memorial Natatorium, Oahu
Located across from Kapiolani Park, next to Kaimana Beach on the island of Oahu, the War Memorial Natatorium (view panorama) was completed in 1927 as a memorial to the 102 soldiers from Hawaii who were killed in World War I. Built in Hawaiian beaux arts architecture, the memorial’s centerpiece is the 20-foot tall entrance arch featuring four stone eagles.
City planners decided during the late 1920s that they wanted a “living memorial” and that an Olympic-sized swimming pool would be fitting. During that time, all of Hawaii’s competitive swimming events took place in the open waters of Honolulu Harbor. So an enclosed pool was considered to be a worthy public facility. Inside the memorial, a 100 meter by 40 meter saltwater swimming pool was built that was used as a recreational gathering spot by local residents as well as a training pool by Olympian swimmers Duke Kahanamoku, Buster Crabbe and Johnny Weissmuller.
In 1979, the natatorium was closed for safety reasons. In the years after, the site was neglected until in 2000, its exterior façade was renovated. The archway of the natatorium can be viewed, but the inside area where the pool is located remains closed.
War Memorial Natatorium Overview
- Located across from Kapiolani Park, next to Kaimana Beach
- Completed in 1927 as a memorial to the 102 soldiers from Hawaii who were killed in World War I
- Inside is a 100 meter by 40 meter saltwater swimming pool, but this area is off-limits (only the archway and outer façade can be viewed) -(view panorama)
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