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MAKE POOL A HISTORIC LANDMARK, GROUP SAYS

In an effort to save the Jennie Hall pool from possible closure or demolition, the Wildwood Heights Neighborhood Association hopes to have it declared a historic landmark.

Wildwood Heights is working with the Council of Neighborhood Associations and St. Petersburg Preservation, which helped get an architect to the pool last week - an important early step in getting a landmark designation.

A building must be at least 50 years old to be considered. Jennie Hall opened in 1954, and for years it was the only pool in St. Petersburg that black residents could use.

In May, it appeared the pool at 1025 26th St. S might become a casualty of city budget cuts. That threat has passed, at least for now, but it prompted a groundswell of support to mark the pool's place in the history of the black community.

"I firmly believe that there are elements that will substantiate the historical significance," said Maureen Stafford, president of St. Petersburg Preservation and a CONA board member. "CONA wants community pride to come out of this application and dedication. It will be a great shot in the arm for this neighborhood."

Alvin Wynn, vice president of the Wildwood Heights association, said the group is compiling photos to present a photographic archive to provide evidence of the pool's historical link to the black community.

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