Berkeley Residents Hope to Restore Park Bathhouse

In 1907 the Denver Parks Board beautified Berkeley Lake Park by removing swampy regions and seeding the area. The bathhouse first opened in summer of 1913. In order to bring attention to Berkeley Lake Park and the Bathhouse, residents participated in a swimming competition in the lake.

The Bathhouse at Berkeley Lake Park as it appeared in the early 1900s.
Photo courtesy of Historic Berkeley Regis

By the early 1950s, swimming in Denver lakes was prohibited due to polio outbreaks. By 1952, the Bathhouse was totally vacant and in the early 1970s a shuffleboard club primarily consisting of retired men requested to use the building as a meeting and competition location for their club. They were granted access and used the building until the mid 1970s when its appearance was altered and it became a storage and small office space for the Parks and Recreation Department.

Last fall, Historic Berkeley Regis introduced a proposal for the restoration and reactivation of the Berkeley Park Bathhouse in Berkeley Lake Park. The August 2019 proposal called for a restoration of the building to its early architectural presentation and allow the community to use the space for public events programming.

The 2004 Berkeley Neighborhood Master Plan also suggested the Bathhouse be restored. The Master Plan, which was a precursor to the current proposal, suggested that the historical location could serve as a space for “many different functions.”

Tom and Laurie Simmons of Front Range Research Associates are eager to see the recent proposal become a reality.

“That would be a great meeting place if it were fixed up,” said Laurie Simmons, “it’s difficult to find a place to hold more than a dozen people for a public meeting.”

The Berkeley Bathhouse as it appears today.

The two of them began their campaign for the restoration of the Bathhouse building at a Berkeley Regis United Neighbors Easter Egg Roll where they handed out fliers. Since then, they have also been organizing on facebook and social media. Tom Simmons said that they received “universal support” at events and online.

Cyndi Karvaski, a spokesperson for Denver Parks and Recreation, said that there is a study funded for 2021 to look into a potential renovation, adding that at this point the funding is for “a study only and not a design.”


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