Broadwater Natatorium, Helena, Montana, USA


Interior, Broadwater Natatorium
Helena, Montana
Dated 1907
Publisher: A. P. Curtin, B & S Co.

A natatorium (plural: natatoriums or natatoria, also called swimming hall) is a building containing a swimming pool. The word natatorium was borrowed from Late Latin, transitioning around the 1880s. The word was originally constructed from the Latin for “to swim” (natā(re)) and “place” (tōrium). In Latin, a cella natatoria was a swimming pool in its own building, although it is sometimes also used to refer to any indoor pool even if not housed in a dedicated building (e.g., a pool in a school or a fitness club). A natatorium will usually also house locker rooms, and perhaps allied activities, such as a diving well or facilities for water polo. 
Wikipedia.

As Helena grew in the late 1880s, many of the spectacular homes and buildings were created. The grandest of them all was the Broadwater Natatorium, built in 1889 by the colonel. After dedicating his life to making Helena a thriving city with the development of Montana’s freight industry, this visionary built an elegant and lavish grand resort unlike any other in the state. The Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium stood as a symbol of Helena’s wealth and Montana’s progressiveness. Built on and around the Ten-mile Hot Springs with an investment of $500,000, these structures were masterfully constructed in the Moorish Spanish architectural style. The all-over effect was characterized by its massive size, complex rooflines, towers, domes, stained-glass windows and rows of high windows called clerestories. Its plunge featured a forty-foot high mass of granite boulders, toboggan slides, observation decks, and waterfalls. A rectangular nave covered the plunge, which had a hot spring in it coming right from the ground.

The swimming pool was 300 feet long and 100 feet wide. Colorful tiles covered the interior walls and floor to create a distinctly decorative and romantic feeling. The spacious hotel was elegantly furnished and featured modern amenities, including steam heat, electric lights, hot and cold water in nearly every room, and modern bath departments. The grounds were lush with beautiful lawns, flowerbeds, walks, fountains, and extensive landscaping. When the Broadwater Natatorium premiered in August 1889, it opened its doors to 180 guests and was the largest natural hot water plunge in the world. It was undoubtedly the most important example of this Moorish style of architecture in the Northwest. By drawing people from all over the world, it rivaled other nationally known spas at the time.
Treasure State Lifestyles Montana

The hot springs was developed first in 1865 as a bathhouse, a respite for miners digging in Last Chance Gulch. In 1889, the year of statehood, Charles Broadwater built the ornate Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium, which featured the world’s largest indoor pool. Broadwater died and his resort floundered and failed, the pool damaged in the 1935 earthquakes, and the hotel closed forever in 1941.
Great Falls Tribune

The natatorium was the most important example of Moorish architecture in the Northwest. It housed the largest indoor “plunge” in the world. A rectangular nave covered the 300′ x 100′ pool. The hot-spring water for the complex was delivered via redwood pipes from the source 1.5 miles to the west. Over one million gallons per day of hot and cold mountain spring water flowed through the system. The pool had a maximum depth of 12′.

The insurmountable problem caused by the earthquakes was the collapse of the thermal vent which provided hot spring water for the pool. Attempts were made to keep the pool filled by transferring hot water from the hotel boilers. Then, they simply tried to get by with using less water, as sen in the photo above. But it was all to no avail, and the natatorium was finally closed. The Broadwater acreage was purchased by Norman Rogers in November of 1945. He announced plans to renovate and reopen the resort, but this was never done. In July of 1946, Rogers threaded thick steel cables through the windows of the natatorium, hooked them to a bulldozer, and began pulling down the historic structure. “She’s still stubborn”, Rogers was quoted as saying as the great building shuddered. There were rumors that the timbers and cedar paneling were then sold for firewood.
Helena As She Was (more pictures)

Musée de Cluny, Cluny, Paris


MUSEE DE CLUNY. — Salle des Émaux
(Room of Enamels)
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Google Street View (exterior).

The Musée de Cluny, also known as Musée national du Moyen Âge – Thermes et hôtel de Cluny (“National Museum of the Middle Ages – Cluny thermal baths and mansion), is a museum of the Middle Ages in Paris, France. It is located in the Latin quarter in the 5th arrondissement of Paris at 6 Place Paul-Painlevé, south of the Boulevard Saint-Germain, between the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the Rue Saint-Jacques. The Hôtel de Cluny is partially constructed on the remnants of the third century Gallo-Roman baths known as the Thermes de Cluny, thermal baths from the Roman era of Gaul. The museum consists of two buildings: the frigidarium (“cooling room”), within the vestiges of the Thermes de Cluny, and the Hôtel de Cluny itself, which houses its collections.
Wikipedia.

The Musée de Cluny is an extremely valuable collection of medieval products of art and industry. As there are over 11,000 objects, one visit will hardly suffice for even a glance at the most important. . . . The entrance is at 24 Rue Du Sommerard. The court is enclosed by a battlemented wall. We enter by a large gate or by a postern, both adorned with tasteful sculptures. The main building and the wings have Gothic windows with stone mullions, an open-work parapet, and dormer-windows of delicate execution. In the centre of the facade rises a turret. The left wing has four large Gothic arcades. In the right wing is the entrance to the garden. The door of the museum is at the right angle of the main building.
[continues with room by room description]
Paris and environs, with routes from London to Paris : handbook for travellers, 1913, pp.280+

In the Middle Ages, enamelling was one of the main techniques used to decorate gold and silver work. Enamel consists of powdered glass, coloured using metal oxides (cobalt, copper, iron, etc.) and usually rendered opaque. Applied on top of metal (gold, silver or copper), it becomes liquid when fired and solidifies onto the metal when it cools down. Either opaque or translucent, enamels, which were an ideal tool for decoration or narration, were extraordinarily popular in the Middle Ages, due to their brilliance and colours. Almost all enamelling techniques were invented or developed in medieval times.
Musee de Cluny: Enamels in the Middle Ages (pdf)


Musee de CLUNY – Grille de clôture de l’église d’Augerolles, Puy-de-Dôme, commencement du XVIme siècle
(Enclosure from church of Augerolles, Puy-de-Dôme, 16th century)
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

The furniture of the Middle Ages must be divided under two different heads; the most important examples are evidently those for religious use. . . . We shall dwell but little, however, on this branch of furniture, which diverges slightly from the special object of this study; it will be sufficient for us to point out the types in our museums which exhibit its characteristics. First of all we shall mention the sumptuous sacristy “dressoir,” or sideboard, preserved at Cluny, taken from the church of Saint Pol-de-L6on. . . . A no less important piece of the same period is the carved woodwork grating forming the enclosure of one of the chapels of the church of Augerolles (Puy-de-Dôme).
History of Furniture, 1878, image 44

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Baths, Clifton Gardens, Sydney


Amphitheatre Baths, Clifton Gardens
Postmark & letter on back dated 1911

Google Maps.

The swimming enclosure pictured [on the website] was very different to the one which remains at Clifton Gardens today. Although both were ‘ocean baths’ which permitted safe swimming in the harbour (though the shark proof net is apparently not particularly shark proof today), the original was unique in its design. Sometimes referred to as the ‘amphitheatre bath’, the huge circular swimming enclosure could apparently accommodate up to 3000 spectators on the decks! The enclosure was circular, surrounded by a two storey walkway which connected at either end with the dressing sheds (also apparently two storey). The baths were used for mixed bathing, both during the day and at night.
The Past Present

Sydney. fortunate much beyond all other cities of the Commonwealth in the matter of swimming baths, is now in possession of another bathing en closure of larger dimensions than any previously existing. The Clifton Garden Baths, erected by the Sydney Ferries Co., Ltd., is now available to the public. Altogether the space covered by the structure is 30,000 square feet, and when it is fully completed there will be comfortable accommodation for 5000 people. Two platforms, each 12ft. wide, run round the swimming space, which is circular in shape. Dressing room has been provided for 2000 people. -A special section outside the deeper portion is being set apart for ladies, while another is to be for the use of nonswimmers.
Sunday Times, 9 December 1906

Open Air Baths, Port Erin, Isle of Man


Port Erin, The Baths
1910s (from postmark, earlier image)
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Strew View

The former Traie Meanagh open air swimming baths in Port Erin opened in June 1899 and hosted swimmers for more than 80 years, closing as baths in 1981. It was then turned into a fish farm which ceased to operate in 1990.
Manx Scenes (present day photos)

Port Erin Baths were a very popular destination from the early 1900’s to mid 1970’s. The mixed pool has been used for many Edwardian postcards over the years. People from all over the island to travel to visit the open air pool, swimming galas were held weekly to keep users entertained.
Manx Nostalgia (historical photos)

The Blue Grotto, Capri, Italy


On back:
CAPRI – Grotta Azzurra
c.1910
Publishers: Trampetti & Migliaccio, Naples

During Roman times, the grotto was used as the personal swimming hole of Emperor Tiberius as well as a marine temple. Tiberius moved from the Roman capital to the island of Capri in 27 AD. During Tiberius’ reign, the grotto was decorated with several statues as well as resting areas around the edge of the cave.

During the 18th century, the grotto was known to the locals as Gradola, after the nearby landing place of Gradola. It was avoided by sailors and islanders because it was said to be inhabited by witches and monsters. The grotto was then “rediscovered” by the public in 1826, with the visit of German writer August Kopisch and his friend Ernst Fries, who were taken to the grotto by local fisherman Angelo Ferraro.
Wikipedia

The Blue Grotto is 60 meters long by 25 meters wide. The clear blue waters below the boat are 150 meters deep. The unearthly blue light effect is caused by the refraction of daylight through the above water cave opening and a larger submerged opening. The acoustics inside the grotto are famously beautiful. At the back of the main cave, three connecting branches lead to the Sala dei Nomi, or “room of names”, named after the graffiti signatures left by visitors over the centuries. Two more passages lead deeper into the island, before it becomes inaccessible. For many years it was thought that the fissures at the back of the cave may have been ancient stairways leading up to the Emperor’s pleasure palaces, but it now seems that these are merely natural passages which narrow and then end, no palace in sight.

Three statues of the sea gods Neptune and Triton were recovered from the grotto floor in 1964 (now on display at a museum in Anacapri), and seven statue bases were found in 2009. The Roman historian Pliny the Elder described the statues in the grotto as “playing on a shell” – the position of the now missing arms of the Triton statue, usually depicted with a conch shell, indicate that these were the statues that he saw in the 1st century AD. Four more statues may yet be hidden in the sandy depths.
Atlas Obscura


CAPRI – La Grotta Azzurra
c.1910
Publisher: “de Luca Gentile & C, Napoli”

Frigidarium, Baths of Caracalla, Rome


Stato attuale e restauro della grande sala “Frigidarium.
(Current state and restoration of the great “Frigidarium”)

On the back:
Les Thermes de Caracalla. A L’etat actuel et en restauration. De L’oeuvre recemment publiée. Par Le Chev. J. Ripostelli
La Grande Salle Avec Le Bassin Pour Les Bains. | D’eau Froide Frigidarium

(The Baths of Caracalla. At the current state and in restoration. From the newly published work* by the Chev. J. Ripostelli
The Great Room With The Basin For The Baths | Cold Water Frigidarium)
c.1910

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