Farrell Park Wading Pool/Bathhouse – Shawnee

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Address:  Bentley and Park Streets, Shawnee, Oklahoma 040, Pottawatomie County 125  County: Pottawatomie
Started:   Completed:  1936

Current Usage:

Description:

Farrell Park has a wading pool and bathhouse that were constructed by the WPA. The bathhouse is a single-story, rectangular (33′ x 17′) structure constructed of untooled and uncoursed native sandstone. The mortar is beaded. The structure has a central dogtrot with dressing rooms on each end. The hipped roof has projecting eaves. The windows have stone sills and have been reduced in size with cinder. The addition of blocks has not compromised the integrity of the structure.
The wading pool is 48 feet in diameter and sits 12 feet behind the bathhouse. It is constructed of poured concrete and surrounded by an apron also of poured concrete.
Farrell Park is a good example of an early WPA construction project. The agency, to get thousands of unemployed in Oklahoma doing useful work as quickly as possible during the winter of 1935-1936, authorized construction of a large number of community parks. Surprisingly, most of these never materialized. Farrell Park, however, did, and in it we can see “what might have been” elsewhere had communities been able to provide necessary matching funds. Shawnee had resources that most other towns did not and could provide matching funds for projects other than just school buildings. Farrell Park wading pool and bath house also provides a glimpse of 1930 social life: it was deemed necessary to have dressing rooms for a wading pool!

VERBAL BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION: From the SE corner of Lot 1 in Block 128, go south 208 feet, west 208 feet, north 208 feet, then east 208 feet in Shawnee original.

Sources:

  1. Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory Nomination

Supported Documents:

  1. WPA Properties Pottawatomie County – Farrell Park Wading Pool and Bath House

Photos: