A final dip: Swimmers enjoy last splash at closing Des Plaines pool

  • Thomas Pett, 3, of Normal swims with family members Sunday during the final day at Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines. The 50-year-old pool closed for good Sunday and is scheduled to face demolition.

    Thomas Pett, 3, of Normal swims with family members Sunday during the final day at Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines. The 50-year-old pool closed for good Sunday and is scheduled to face demolition. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • A tender moment as Mary Lane of Des Plaines gives 5-year-old daughter Dana, 5, a hug Sunday as they prepare to enter Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines one last time. The Lanes were first in line Sunday for a party to mark the last day for the 50-year-old pool, which is scheduled to be demolished.

    A tender moment as Mary Lane of Des Plaines gives 5-year-old daughter Dana, 5, a hug Sunday as they prepare to enter Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines one last time. The Lanes were first in line Sunday for a party to mark the last day for the 50-year-old pool, which is scheduled to be demolished. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • Ben Huk, 16, of Des Plaines cannonballs into Iroquois Pool Sunday, the final day for the 50-year-old pool which is set to be demolished.

    Ben Huk, 16, of Des Plaines cannonballs into Iroquois Pool Sunday, the final day for the 50-year-old pool which is set to be demolished. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • Ryan Hauptman, 16, of Des Plaines leaps into Iroquois Pool on Sunday. "It's fun, it's always fun being here on the last day. It's a fun local pool," Ryan said.

    Ryan Hauptman, 16, of Des Plaines leaps into Iroquois Pool on Sunday. "It's fun, it's always fun being here on the last day. It's a fun local pool," Ryan said. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • A lifeguard watches over swimmers Sunday during the final hours of operation at Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines.

    A lifeguard watches over swimmers Sunday during the final hours of operation at Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • Rachel Pett of downstate Normal has a taste of Dippin' Dots ice cream, shared with son Thomas Pett, 3. during a visit Sunday to Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines. Pett grew up nearby and used to work at the pool.

    Rachel Pett of downstate Normal has a taste of Dippin' Dots ice cream, shared with son Thomas Pett, 3. during a visit Sunday to Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines. Pett grew up nearby and used to work at the pool. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 8/22/2022 6:16 AM

Family day at the pool is usually all about fun and laughter, but the usual joy of an afternoon at Iroquois Pool in Des Plaines came with a splash of sadness Sunday as swimmers took one last dip in the soon-to-be demolished facility.

"I grew up in Des Plaines and I actually was a lifeguard a long time ago here too, so I'm very nostalgic about the pool closing," said Gerry Lane, who was first in line to enter Iroquois on Sunday, along with his wife, Mary, and daughters Dana, 5, and Abby, 9.

 

"I learned to swim here. This was also the place I worked in high school," he added. "It was the best job I've ever had and my children got to swim here too, it's right in the neighborhood, it's sad to see it go."

After 50 years of keeping Des Plaines Park District residents cool, Iroquois closed Sunday ahead of its planned demolition. The park district intends to build new pool at nearby Arndt Park, as part of an $8.5 million renovation there.

Rachel Pett traveled all the way from her home in downstate Normal for one last swim in the pool where she worked while growing up nearby.

"Full circle," she said of her visit. "I'm sad."

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