Original Toledo Pool blueprints found

A glimpse of the past

TOLEDO — Going through a box of her deceased father’s belongings, former Toledo resident Anne Stronko came across four pages of blueprints he had drawn, dated Sept. 20, 1947 and titled “City Swimming Pool, Toledo, Ore.”

“I located one of my dad’s boxes of belongings, and I started looking through there and discovered a folder where he had placed these blueprints,” Stronko said during a Thursday, Aug. 2, telephone conference referring to a set of four blueprints.

Along with date and title, the blueprints identify Joseph Stronko, “Dr./J.Stronko” as drafter, and “Ch.R. Bowles” as engineer. “CH means Checked By Ross Bowles,” Stronko wrote in an Aug. 5 email.

When her father drew the plans, he was 29 years old. “His experience for a 29 year old was that he was in World War II, and he had a college degree from Penn State University. He had a degree in industrial art,” Stronko said, and that after graduating, her father taught drafting in Pennsylvania. He then came west and worked for C.D. Johnson Lumber Company. When Georgia-Pacific purchased C.D. Johnson, her father was hired, and through the years, he was promoted until eventually becoming general manager of resins in the chemical division at the corporate offices in Portland.

When Stronko found the blueprints, she wasn’t sure they were the ones actually used, and she wondered if her dad had been in a competition to come up with the best design. To find out, she made the trip from her home in Canby to the pool.

Paul Steenkolk, district manager of the Greater Toledo Pool Recreation District, met with Stronko, looked at her dad’s drawings, and suggested she contact Carl Sherwood, AIA (American Institute of Architects) and principal at Robertson Sherwood Architects in Eugene. Later, Stronko met with Sherwood and, while there, they made a copy of her father’s drawings.

“We have been commissioned to do a master plan of the current facility,” Sherwood said during an Aug. 6 telephone conference. Referring to his copy of the 1947 blueprints, he said, “On the pool side, I’m very confident it’s what we see there.”

Stronko, asking whose idea it had been to originally build the pool, where the land came from, and who helped make it happen, spent many hours in the Toledo Library going through microfiche files of old newspapers. Using some of her learned information, she contacted a Lincoln County clerk who came up with a deed showing the Richardson family transferring the property where the pool, tennis court and library are for $10.

“It appears the swimming pool opened the summer of 1948,” she said. Originally, the pool was outside, and Stronko’s cousins remember taking lessons at the facility in the early 1950s when it had no roof or walls.

It is believed the roof was added sometime in the 1950s. Sherwood does not have those blueprints, but he does have a set from 1973 for the purpose of building the walls onto an existing roof.

The current master plan will address updates to the facility, which are slated for completion around the end of September.

Stronko would like to see a plaque giving appreciation to all the people making the pool possible. “Of course, I’d like my dad to get recognized as the person that designed and drew that up, but it wasn’t just him. The Richardson family should be on the plaque,” she said, as well as more contributors of money and labor.

“It’s really difficult to get that information,“ she said, and she asks that anyone who has information about the original swimming pool building email her at [email protected], or Paul Steenkolk at [email protected]

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