The Huey P. Long Fieldhouse was completed on the LSU campus in 1932. Hearsay says that Huey Long intended it to be the biggest pool around, longer than any run-of-the-mill Olympic-sized pool. It was designed by Weiss, Dreyfus and Seiferth, the same firm that designed the new state capitol.
UPDATE: This originally said "old state capitol" and a few commenters pointed out that I had my information wrong. Please forgive this damned Yankee.
Until the 1970s, it was required that every LSU student take a swim class, but by then the pool was already in decline. It has been closed since approximately 1999 and has been silently crumbling ever since, relatively unnoticed amidst the thriving campus.
In early June, I was allowed access to the condemned structure housing the pool *with police escort.* Gotta say, I love having a police escort. They can escort my scared ass any time around abandoned buildings.
Downstairs locker rooms:
Upstairs locker rooms:
Looking down from the gallery to the racquetball courts reveals a most Slaytanic view.
Oh, Satanists. Aren't they darling?
Also, some artistic graffiti--apologies for the blurry photo.
The facilities used to feature a soda fountain and a ballroom, the latter pictured below.
The ballroom now appears to just be a big open dance studio, still used within the main fieldhouse building, now without the archways and foliage pictured above. At the time I was in there, I entered from what seemed to be a normal college classroom building, so I didn't recognize it as the former ballroom, only as an open room with a view of the pool.
Why is this structure important? I'm no sports fan by any stretch, but it seems to me that this fancy pool, when new, was a game changer for what was once a minor country college. The fieldhouse was the seed of LSU as a sporting contender, setting the stage for the sporting powerhouse it is today (whether I give a crap about such things or or not). (Not.) So here's my idea, which could be much more effective: duke a buck or two off every Tiger admission ticket this coming season, set that aside for the restoration, and they should be golden. I did the math. (No I didn't.) But you have to admit: the LSU Tiger organization/ juggernaut can buy and sell God, so if they wanted to restore this building, they could. Come on, Tigers, you could. Admit it: I think Mike the Tiger eats organic nutria stuffed with tenderized, free-range rats stuffed with marinated field mice five times a day. So it can happen.
[Archive photos via saveHPL.org]