Last year’s article featuring 10 of Britain’s most stunning abandoned swimming pools elicited a variety of responses, from those amazed at the hidden history extant in our towns and cities, to others who consider the neglect of such grand structures to be a shameful waste. But there’s good news from Glasgow, as the historic Govanhill Baths are set to reopen as a Wellbeing Centre thanks to a major community effort to save the abandoned building.
Spearheaded by Govanhill Baths Community Trust, the project is expected to contribute to the broader regeneration of the Govanhill area. Phase One of the Wellbeing Project, which saw the repair and refurbishment of the front suite of the baths, has already been completed, and will accomodate the Trust’s offices and Centre for Community Practice.
Three events were held at the baths last year, including the Lanarkshire Paranormal “visitation”, the Citizen’s Aladdin pantomime production and the film “Pool of Memories“, produced with the Arches. Ongoing work is bolstered by active members and proceeds from the Trust’s Charity Shop.
Govanhill Baths opened on July 3, 1914 in Calder Street, Glasgow. The main pool was used as a makeshift mortuary during World War Two after the city came under heavy bombing by the German Luftwaffe. Post-war developments saw the wash-house converted to a launderette but in 2001, Glasgow Council closed the baths despite a written commitment to keep them open.
Finally, after years of pressure and protests from local people aggrieved at the loss of such an important part of their community, the Govanhill Baths Community Trust submitted the proposal that has brought the historic pool back to life. Read more in the Poolside Guardian.
Keep reading – explore 10 of Britain’s Most Beautiful Abandoned Swimming Pools, and browse more creative examples of adaptive reuse.
Also, be sure to check out Abandoned Scotland.