The Maplewood Pool Building at 7550 Lohmeyer was constructed from 1936 to 1938. It was renovated to house the Maplewood Library after the aging pool was replaced with a modern aquatic center and it was no longer needed as a bathhouse.
This beautiful building is an architectural companion to the next door. It is a stone Art Deco building constructed by the WPA (Works Progress Administration). This is unusual according to the St. Louis County historian, Esley Hamilton. He says a building like this was more likely to have been built by the PWA (Public Works Administration), as was the High School.
The lower level originally housed the changing rooms and showers, with men on the west and women on the east. The upper level once had a very interesting and unique feature. The windows on the southern side could be removed in the warm weather and the building could function as a pavilion.
The stone fireplace that no doubt roasted many marshmallows is now the prominent feature of the library’s reading room.
Additionally, the building is bracketed on both ends by gracefully curving stone staircases. The eastern one is absolute poetry in stone. On site, as well, is a stone backdrop that once arced around the kiddy pool and was like a headboard to the original pool. This architectural ensemble contains stonework of a very high order.
The dynamic duo of the High School and the Pool/Library building look magnificent when viewed from Historic Route 66. Be sure to visit the to see firsthand this marvelous example of adaptive reuse.