The 86-year outdoor pool house in Peru’s Washington Park is no more.
After being closed for three seasons, the pool house came tumbling down Monday as a contractor ripped into the brick structure.
Peru Veterans Memorial Pool was closed the past three summers. In 2010 the city did not open it up because of leaks and unfavorable reports from insurance and legal advisers. The pool was dedicated in 1927.
Longtime resident John Krolak came over to watch the demolition. Krolak has lived within two block of Washington Park his entire life, he said.
“This was probably the first place I was able to come to on my own when I was 3 or 4 years old,” Krolak said. “My sister used to being me over in the late 40s before I was old enough to come on my own.”
John Pohar & Sons, La Salle was contracted by the city for $26,268 to demolish the pool and pool house. A smaller brick building also came down. It once housed the popular concession, The Nibble Nook.
The pool will take longer to demolish and remove, said Tim Harris of Roger Chamlin & Associates, engineering consultant for the city.
Friends for Peru Pool is raising funds for a new pool. To help raise more funds they will sell bricks from the pool house as mementos, said Friends member, Debbie Noonan.
“We want to sell them for $1 or $2 each,” she said. “I know people are going to want the bricks because I’ve had phone calls on them already.”
Greg Lungwitz stopped by the pool in the afternoon. The excavator was shut down, the crew had left for the day and all that was left was a pile of rubble. Lungwitz grew up a block a way on Rock Street and attended the nearby Washington School.
“It’s sad to see it gone because this is where a lot of us used to go,” Lungwitz said. “We played baseball here. We swam here. We went to school here.”
Jeff Dankert can be reached at (815) 220-6977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.