If you live in the Northeast (or pretty much anywhere east of the Rockies), then you already know this: It's very, very hot today. It's the kind of day where just getting to work is a sweaty ordeal. And if you don't sit in an air-conditioned office all day, well, you have our sympathy. But even if you do, today would make a great day to play hooky and go swimming instead. Our attention keeps getting drawn back to The New York Times feature on the Richmond Plunge, the historic public pool in Richmond, California, which reopened last year after a nine-year effort to save it. They really did used to make swimming pools better looking in the olden days. Below, we've collected a few photos of our favorites, mostly still in operation, though unfortunately not all open to the public.
The Richmond Plunge: The circa 1926 "municipal natatorium" closed in 2001 after deferred maintenance piled up and the city couldn't afford to fix it. It reopened last August, and is now the oldest operating swimming pool in the Bay Area (photos courtesy of The Plunge Web site).
Hearst Castle: The legendary palace built by Julia Morgan for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst contains two pools. There's the outdoor Neptune Pool: