Walnut Street Bath House

366 Walnut Street between Van Buren & Tyler Streets

1897 - <1923>

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The Walnut Street Bath House was opened in the spring of 1897. This was a brick structure costing, with land, $17,500, and contained 35 dressing rooms, 8 shower baths, and a swimming tank 25 feet wide by 50 feet long, and with a depth varying from 3 to 6 feet.

The bath house was open to males four days a week, and to females two days. The usual bathing hours were from 9 to 12 in the forenoon, and from 2 to 5 in the afternoon. Workingmen and others unable to bathe during the day are admitted between 6:30 and 8:00 in the evening In extremely warm weather the baths are open to men and boys from 7 to 10 AM on Sundays. The employs two superintendents and a fireman. There is also a matron who has entire charge of the days reserved for women and girls. The water in the swimming pool is kept uniformly at about 80° F., while persons using the showers can regulate the temperature to suit themselves. The pool is emptied and thoroughly cleansed once each day. Bathers who bring suits and towels are admitted free, while those who do not are charged a fee of 5¢ for the use of these articles, or 10¢ if a dressing room be included. Instruction in swimming is provided by competent teachers. The superintendents and other attendants are instructed in the treatment of the apparently drowned, and also life lines are stretched around the pools for the assistance of bathers in distress.