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  Capsule-shaped swimming pool (Timber Cove)

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Author Topic:   Capsule-shaped swimming pool (Timber Cove)
tfrielin
Member

Posts: 149
From: Athens, GA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 02-25-2013 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tfrielin   Click Here to Email tfrielin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Near the end of Scott Carpenter's autobiography there is a wonderful description of a community swimming pool shaped like a Mercury capsule that Rene Carpenter and other Mercury wives/mothers raised funds for in Timber Cove, where many early astronauts and Manned Spacecraft Center people lived. The account says it opened for the summer season of 1963.

From my own passing knowledge of public or community swimming pools, I realize that they have a finite lifetime as repairs and maintenance issues render them obsolete after a time, so it may be too much to expect this nearly fifty year old artifact of the early days of the US manned spaceflight community might still exist.

But, I'm curious — does anyone know its story? Might it still exist? Or if not, when was it demolished or replaced? And would it be too much to think someone out there has any photos of this Mercury capsule pool?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-25-2013 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the pool still exists. I have a friend who lives in Timber Cove and her children swim there (lucky kids!).

Some photos are posted in this 2010 thread: Astronauts' Houston homes of the 1960s — and it can be seen in Google Maps:

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 02-25-2013 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The swimming pool is mentioned on page 49 in the Timber Cove article in the fall 2008 issue of Houston History magazine.

There is also an interesting article on page 60 about the Apollo 11 flag and plaque.

tfrielin
Member

Posts: 149
From: Athens, GA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 02-25-2013 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tfrielin   Click Here to Email tfrielin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, not exactly a high fidelity model, but it sort of looks like a Mercury Capsule if you know what you're looking at. Good 1960s googie-style kitsch I guess.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-25-2013 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I might be stating the obvious, but the capsule shape is formed by the surrounding concrete pad, not just the pool itself.

tfrielin
Member

Posts: 149
From: Athens, GA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 02-25-2013 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tfrielin   Click Here to Email tfrielin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Evidently, in looking at the two photos of the pool from the Houston Magazine article, the angle seems to make a difference in discerning the Mercury shape — the top photo in the magazine article makes it look more "Mercury" than the lower photo.

Still I gotta love it and it's good to know it's still going strong entering its fifty-first season.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 03-23-2013 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can you spot the swimming pool in this photo of the Clear Lake area and JSC taken from the ISS on Expedition 34?

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