Chicago’s new boat harbor, 31st Street Marina, has added a floating swimming pool and platform designed specifically with winter in mind. When filled, the pool sits flush with the deck of the platform. However, in the winter, when the water is drained from the pool, the insert is able to free float at its natural level in the water beneath it. With the two structures able to float independently, the marina can fill and drain the pool as needed without affecting the surrounding structures.
Bellingham Marine designed and built the concrete floating platform to support the pool. The pool itself is an aluminum structure from Chester Pool Systems. The concrete platform measures 85 by 40 feet and is basically a “picture-frame type” configuration with a 9-foot-wide sundeck that surrounds it. All utilities are routed internally to provide a clean deck, and all treated lumber is concealed with a polymer cover.
The floating pool reportedly is one of only a few in the country. It is free to boaters who dock at 31st Street Marina and can be accessed by the public for a fee. “Our vision for the property is to make the marina a destination and to build in amenities that are appealing to boaters as well as the general public,” said Scott Stevenson, vice president of Westrec Marinas, which manages the facility on behalf of the City.
Future plans for the marina call for the addition of a floating restaurant next to the pool.