Restoring an Iconic Los Angeles Pool

Fort MacArthur is a military installation overlooking the Los Angeles harbor.  Originally built during World War I to house and train National Guard and Army Reserve units, the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 saw it transformed into the West coast’s most critical base of military training operations.  The “Hey Rookie” Pool—named after the garrison’s wildly successful stage show that financed its construction—opened in 1943 to train deploying soldiers in swimming and survival tactics.

After the war, the pool opened for public use.  Also known as the Gaffey Street Pool, it was an integral part of the San Pedro community, and three generations of Angelenos learned to swim there.  Sadly, the pool was closed in the early 1990s and suffered from vandalism and neglect for the next 20 years.

In 2015, the City of Los Angeles broke ground on a $7 million refurbishment to restore the pool to its former glory.  Part of that restoration included a nearly quarter-mile long handicap access ramp carved into the cliffs overlooking the harbor.  Lighting a serpentine run like that posed unique challenges.  The planners would need a lighting solution that would work over great distances, integrate seamlessly with curved metal, and help create a safe environment for young and old alike.

KLIK USA had just the answer for them.  Thanks to extensive field coordination with both engineering and metalworking, we were able to illuminate the one thousand feet of handrail with KLIK LEDpod 50 3000K asymmetric 1.5 Watt lights.  The solution was not only elegant and creative, but also easy to install and inexpensive to maintain.

The completed project opened to the public in June 2017 to universal acclaim.  Now grandparents who learned to swim on Gaffey Street decades ago can safely take their grandkids there to do the same — and get started on creating generations of new memories.

Pool photos courtesy of JuanCarlos Chan / Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.  Railing photos; KLIK USA.



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