What do you do with an Empty Pool?…

…Turn it into an art gallery, of course.

As I am preparing to shift the focus of my blog from bridges to adaptive reuse (particularly of church buildings), the timing coincides well with that of a project by an enterprising group of people in Pittsburgh.  The Leslie Pool in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood is one of many city pools that were closed in recent years.  A group of people formed the LESLIE Park Collaborative (see their Facebook page) to re-imagine how the space could be used.  The current solution is an outdoor art gallery called Project: Lido.

An announcement for the opening reception on the group’s Facebook page called the event “a pool party…minus the water.”  The reception was Aug. 30, but the gallery will be open to the public on Sundays starting Sept. 16.

“What do you do with an empty pool?” is an interesting question.  It poses different and, in some respects, perhaps greater challenges than adapting a church building to a new use, particularly the fact that it is outside which means it is not easy to use in the winter time.  However, the art gallery is just one of the new uses presented for this pool.  A 2010 article discusses the first event at the Leslie Pool (an Accordion Pool Party) as well as other ideas being circulated at the time.  It will be interesting to what happens at this site next.