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Coral Gables, Florida

Venetian Pool

The only swimming pool listed in the National Historic Register refills itself with naturally filtered water every day. 

The world’s largest freshwater swimming pool, the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Florida, is a one-of-a-kind water feature that is emptied and refilled everyday during the summer just to keep the waters clean. 

Built in 1924 out of the remains of a Florida coral rock quarry, the public pool was modeled after a Venetian grotto with the intention of bringing a piece of Mediterranean style to the States. A scenic bridge was built overlooking the pool, along with mooring posts for gondolas which were to be able to pull right up to the pool, although this feature was later scrapped. The pool also connects to a number of natural grotto caves which swimmers can explore.

The pool is always a clean and clear shade of blue thanks to the unique natural filtering system. During its early years, the pool was drained each day and the water freshly replenished from artesian springs on the site. This process, however, came under fire when water conservationists warned that the process was draining local aquifers. In response, a new system was devised to drain the pool water back into the aquifer, allowing natural filtration to clean up the waste water. During the spring and summer, this refilling system is still in place, creating a crisp natural pool to swim in.

The constant draining of the pool has also allowed it to be used for events such as symphony concerts, which take advantage of the drained quarry’s natural acoustics. The Venetian Pool is also the only swimming pool to be protected by the National Register of Historic Places, making it a site that should run swimmingly for years to come.  

Contributed by
m mrncat
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