La Jolla Children’s Pool dedicated 80 years ago

Photos show the Children's Pool dedication ceremony and how the beach looked 80 years ago. Photos: Courtey

Excerpted from Jeremy Hollins’ “Until Kingdom Come, The Design and Construction of La Jolla Children’s Pool”

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the Children’s Pool in La Jolla, which was created in 1931 through a trust by Ellen Browning Scripps, a prominent La Jolla benefactress, to build a breakwater so children could safely swim at the beach.

Scripps devoted much of her time to the welfare and safety of children. In 1930, she commissioned Hiram Newton Savage, a hydraulic engineer, to finish design work on the breakwater project he’d begun studies on nearly a decade earlier. Architect William Templeton Johnson designed the breakwater’s walls.

On May 31, a celebration occurred at the breakwater to celebrate the accomplishment. Scripps was too ill to attend, but Savage spoke in her place, reminding the audience of the difficulties involved in constructing the structure as well as stressing its importance to the community. The ceremony featured speeches, a pantomime performance by La Jolla schoolchildren and a concert by the San Diego YMCA band.

The breakwater received tremendous support from the community including Judge John Kean, who described the project as “the most valuable of all Miss Scripps’ benefits to La Jolla.” La Jolla Journal, the community weekly paper at that time, referred to the project as “a wonderful and valuable improvement” and “a great asset to the community.”

Related posts:

  1. Sides at Children’s Pool clearly drawn at Sunday seal rally
  2. Children’s Pool ranger transfers out as confrontations continue
  3. La Jollans help rescue divers caught in kelp near Children’s Pool
  4. Children’s Pool clean-up set for Saturday
  5. City moves closer to installing year-round seal barrier at Children’s Pool

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Posted by Staff on May 26, 2011. Filed under La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

7 Comments for “La Jolla Children’s Pool dedicated 80 years ago”

  1. crazyoverseals

    We celebrate the 80th anniversary of the dedication of the Children's Pool on May 31st. This important milestone event occurred in La Jolla 80 years ago when the efforts of a generous La Jolla woman, Ellen Browning Scripps, came to fruition with the construction and dedication of the Children's Pool in La Jolla on May 31st, 1931. From her efforts and 10 years of planning, the Children's Pool seawall was built. It created a safe bathing pool for children and the people of San Diego along the rocky La Jolla coastline.

    Ellen Browning Scripps was devoted to the children of San Diego and supported many projects in the San Diego area to benefit San Diego's youth. Her generosity was boundless and she helped create many well known institutions in the area including the San Diego Zoo, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Scripps Hospital, Museum of Natural History, La Jolla Recreation Center, medical clinics, libraries, schools and the list goes on and on.

    Of course, the Children's Pool seawall is prominent on the list because it endures today, protecting a small beach set aside for children. It is unfortunate that certain groups and individuals are making the use of this special place rather unpleasant in their efforts to remove the intended beneficiary of her gift. They instead are attempting to turn the Children's Pool into a seal viewing stadium where children are not allowed to use the gift given them 80 years ago.

    Ellen Scripps never intended for children to be forced to stand on the sidelines and just watch the activity at Children's Pool. The pool was built for them to freely use and enjoy at all times. No doubt she would not like the current controversy over who is entitled to use Children's Pool. It was so clearly intended for the children that it would never have crossed her mind that it would be anything different. And yet, here we are having to convince the stewards of the pool of why it is there and to keep it available for use by the intended beneficiary; children and their families.

    So we continue the effort to keep the pool open not only for current and future generations of San Diego's children but also to honor and respect the generous nature of Ellen Browning Scripps. One person who made a difference.

  2. Davy Jones

    It was people like Scripps, Marston, Spreckleand and Horton who with there wonderful gifts and contributions to the city of San Diego helped to make San Diego what it is today, and to dishonor Miss Scripps in this weigh is disgraceful. Who in there right mind would ever donate anything to the city ever again if the city doesn't honor the gift for what it was received?

    • npk32

      Who in their right mind doesn't know how to spell the word "way?"

      • James

        Really? All you had to say about that is he can't spell? I keep reading these hoping to have some type of insightful comments to read that may help me to formulate an opinion on the subject and that's what I get? Lets raise our standards here.

      • Seal Teem 6

        Who in their right mind has to look for a reason to bitch about something?

  3. James

    I wonder how she would have felt about the Natural History Museum being turned into an Infectious Disease ward for the Navy hospital?

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