Residents want to save crumbling Ybor City pool - FOX 13 News

Residents want to save crumbling Ybor City pool

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Generations of kids in Tampa spent their summers at Ybor's historic Cuscaden Pool. It was built in 1937, during the Great Depression, and in its heyday, the above-ground pool was the place to be.

But now, it's falling apart.

"You have one of the most gorgeous pools I have ever laid eyes on, and we're letting it sit and rot," Tampa resident Susan Long said to city council members Thursday.

One after another, parents and even a few kids begged City Council members to fix the pool and preserve it's art-deco design.

"People come to the Ybor area from all over for the history. So why wouldn't the city and the mayor make preserving the pool a major priority? It's a landmark! This is a national landmark," says Ybor City resident Kelly Bailey.

The pool has been plagued with leaks and cracks for years. In 2005, the city spent $2.5 million to repair and re-open it. But it sprung a leak just a few years later. The city closed it in 2010, and it's still closed today.

"That's why I always refer to demolition by neglect, because that has been a big issue in Tampa where we have lost many historic structures to exactly that concept," said Tampa City Council member Lisa Montelione.

Like the Jackson House, which is also on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks. Last year, experts said it would cost about $1.5 million to fix the pool. But other experts said that was just a bandaid. City leaders want to make sure it doesn't become a money pit.

"The longer we wait, the more difficult, the more expensive it becomes," Montelione said.

City leaders want to know the bottom line: specifically, what can and can't be done to fix the pool, and how much it will cost.

They've given staffers four months to get them the answers.

In the meantime, supporters just hope something can be done.

"It's gorgeous. It would be an absolute sin to let this pool die," Long said.

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