“It’s one of the eeriest, strangest places I’ve ever been.” That’s what Chris Seward said of this little known spot on the University of Rochester campus when he took these photos. The Merle Spurrier Gymnasium opened in 1955 as part of a women’s center and the Susan B. Anthony women’s dormitory. Spurrier housed this 25-yard-long, six lane swimming pool. According to a 2004 Campus Times article , the pool has been closed ever since the women’s gym facilities were moved to the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center in 1982…
The on-campus technology store, University IT Computer Sales, has made use of the pool deck for storage of large boxes and various other extra tables and equipment. The pool deck has also been used as a home for props from Strong Auditorium. As a result, many odds and ends can be found poolside, such as old-fashioned television sets, couches and brooms.
It’s kind of funny how, at the shallow end, the desks are lined up very neatly. Then at the deep end it becomes an enormous junk pile. I can just imagine the poor dude tasked with moving all this stuff into the pool, working late into the night… He was probably like, “ah fuck it.”
When the Susan B. Anthony dorm was built, tunnels were opened between the residence hall and the gymnasium, providing easy, warm access for the women. Maybe those are the footprints of Susie’s ghost? Even suffragettes enjoy a refreshing dip now and again.
UPDATE: I’m getting a lot of people asking if this pool is still there. Yes. Still there. And everyone I’ve spoken to says it’s in the same condition. The panoramic photo was shot in 2011.
UPDATE: Allen C. via Facebook, says “Unfortunately I witnessed—only within the last few weeks—the movement of all these Wakefield desks to dumpster after dumpster. Its empty now.”
Photos shared with permission from Chris Seward, 2010. You can view Chris’ entire Flickr set here
Inquiries made to University of Rochester were not returned by the time this story was published. Thanks to Tony and Ryan Green for helping me pull together the details.
Tags: abandoned swimming pool, Chris Seward, Flickr, Jane Possee, Merle Spurrier, Merle Spurrier Gymnasium, Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester panorama, rochester photos, Tony DiPietro, U of R, University of Rochester
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