Druid Hill Park Memorial Pool

MD_Baltimore_DruidHillParkMemorialPool_byJoyceScott_2004_001.jpg
Baltimore, MD
United States
Druid Hill Park Memorial Pool

Landscape Information

Druid Hill Park Pool No. 2

Roughly near the middle of Druid Hill Park, Pool No. 2 was built in 1921 to accommodate the Black population of Baltimore, serving as a counterpart to the whites-only Pool No. 1 located elsewhere in the park. Half the size of Pool No. 1, this facility is associated with a complex of tennis courts and other historically segregated features adjacent to the park's maintenance yard. Although segregated, the complex was a source of pride in the Black community until its closure in 1956, following the desegregation of the City of Baltimore’s pools in response to an NAACP lawsuit. In 1996, resulting from the master plan, Renewing Druid Hill Park, the project to commemorate the site moved forward. Assembled by the Department of Parks & Recreation capital projects division, Heritage Landscapes led the construction team, collaborating with local artist Joyce J. Scott. The Memorial Pool, Courts and Grove site reopened in 1999.

The new work created a plaza, framed by four monumental pillars with a set of broad steps leading down to the pool deck. What was once an open pool with water has been replaced by an uninterrupted green lawn.   Original ladders and diving equipment are preserved and painted a bright blue. Paving in the plaza and the pool surrounds include braided forms from African traditions. Interpretive signage presents Black users’ feelings, memories and period images. Collectively, these interventions were made to evoke the now absent water that once defined the space and its cultural lifeways.