The City of Saint Paul, Minnesota, through its Department of Parks and Recreation, is seeking a management partner for the Highland Park Pool Building (WPA 1936).
Request for Proposal RFP
The original Highland Park pool’s bathhouse building was erected at Montreal Avenue and Edgcumbe Road in 1936, of Platteville limestone as one of many Works Progress Administration (WPA) buildings in Saint Paul. The WPA was a federal program that provided public jobs during the Great Depression. The Pool House is not a registered historic building, but is considered by the City as a “historic resource.” The original Pool House building closed after the current Highland Park Aquatic Center opened in August, 1979. The Pool House is now used by Parks and Recreation on a limited basis for storage.
VISION FOR FUTURE USE
Friends of Highland Arts advocate for redevelopment of the Highland Park Pool House as a year-round public/private “arts and recreation” venue. The Pool House would be anchored with a local restaurant offering walk-up counter service to get a meal, snack, dessert, or beverage. Food and drink can be enjoyed at limited cafe-style seating, taken outdoors on the patio or on a picnic in the park. The interior space can provide a gallery of rotating local artists and room for live music. An upper level community room could be used for programming, classes, and group/individual rental. Parks users can get supplies from a seasonal disc golf kiosk or cross country ski rental.
Outdoors, the Pool House provides a natural small-scale amphitheater setting for community gatherings. The space can bring culturally diverse arts programming to Highland Park, as well as provide a performance venue for area schools, Parks and Recreation and SPPS Community Education arts, outdoor movies or fitness in the park classes. Landscaping, lighting and permanent public art can be used to beautify the area, e.g., arts designed disc golf holes, mosaic murals on retaining walls, or celebrate the history of the building through the use of historic photos and memories.