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The pool house: a fresh clean look for a charming and picturesque building

Menning Photography The pool house at Firestone Park.

The exterior renovation of the Firestone Park Pool House by C. Tucker Cope & Associates is in the final stages.

The pool house, originally referred to as the Bath House, was the first building to be constructed in Firestone Park some 80 years ago (see accompanying picture).

Grading began in 1934, and through the efforts of the Municipal Attorney at that time, W. O. Wallace, and Harvey Firestone himself, the construction of the pool house was designated as a WPA (Works Projects Administration) project of the era.

It has been said that no family in Columbiana went hungry during the post-depression era that coincided with the construction of the pool and bath house because every man who wanted a job was brought on to work on the project.

Payroll for the project came in at $20,000. In today’s money that amounts to $394,658.

With the pool house in the background, Harvey S. Firestone (third from left) and associates involved in the park project are seen inspecting the pool under construction, circa 1930s.

Although the pool itself has had a number of upgrades, what’s known now as the pool house has changed very little over the years: enlargement of the concession stand, modification of the central open room with its fireplace, and updating the locker room areas with some changes.

The exterior, however, has had little attention. It has been showing serious aging issues with the roof needing replaced and the brick facade crumbling.

The improvements completed this spring include retrofitting of the existing flat roof with a new sloped metal standing seam roof. A specialty terra cotta style metal panel at the front entrance has been put in place in an effort to maintain the original tile appearance.

After evaluating the exterior brick, it was determined that the best solution was to apply a stucco-style, troweled-on finish over a majority of the exterior. This application should serve to provide a weather-tight and long-term uniform appearance.

The front entrance gates have been removed and are in the process of being re-fabricated/repaired and then will be powder-coated.

An attractive new fabric awning is now draped in the rear covered area over the aluminum canopy structure. The existing glass windows and doors with viewing to the pool area are being replaced with new aluminum frames and energy-efficient glass.

All in all, a fresh clean new look which maintains the charm and picturesque appearance this historical building has always had. (Photo shows a view of the work completed to date.)

Legacy Trail donation campaign extended

The Restoration and Beautification Committee’s fundraising packet was sent out in March and donations have been accepted through April. Falling short of our goal of matching the Firestone family’s gifts of $225,000, we are opting to reach out to more of the community for support.

Our original appeal was to 100 citizens, businesses and organizations. Having been approached by other citizens who want to be a part of this historic addition to the park, we will send the beautiful and informative “Legacy Trail Donation Packet” to other interested parties. The donation levels are $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000. With each level, gifts for donors include a copy of the Columbiana Mural in the downtown Common, Restoration Red and White bottles of wine — made especially for the donation drive by the Vineyards at Pine Lake — and an exclusive copy of a new, soon-to-be-published book about the history of Firestone Park, “The Best Little Park in Ohio,” the title taken from how Harvey Firestone frequently described his park.

Contributors names will also be placed on the entrance wall to the Legacy Trail, and an invitation will also be extended to contributors for the Memorial Dedication of the park at the completion of the project, a special event for donors only.

To receive a Legacy Trail Donation Packet, please call 330.482.9166 and leave your name and address and a packet will be mailed to you.

For more information on the renovation of the park and the Restoration and Beautification Committee’s ongoing activities, visit restorecolumbiana.com

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