The year was 1950. The first book in the series “Hasamba” – Igal Mosinzon’s tales of a secret group of youth detectives in Tel Aviv – landed in the bookstores. The first snow fell in Tel Aviv. Amongst all these, due to the streaming of sewage water to the beaches of Tel Aviv, the Ministry of Health published a grave report on pollution of the beaches. The beaches emptied of bathers, and municipal leaders searched for a solution that would allow residents to enjoy bathing in the cool water alongside the beautiful shores. British entrepreneurs Jack and Morris Greidel had an idea: build a salt-water pool right along the beach. This was the first bud that would later bloom into the famous Gordon Pool.
Contractor Shmerl (Shmaryahu) Stoler, who was responsible for building some of Tel Aviv’s famous landmarks, including the Palatin Hotel, was assigned one of the most ambitious projects in 1950’s Tel Aviv. Along with an experienced team of workers equipped with manual concrete machines, he set forth. The pool was planned on ground formerly covered in sea water. Therefore it was necessary to dry the ground well to create conditions for digging the pool. As they built the pool, waves from the sea would occasionally hit the walls, which led to their destruction and reconstruction.
The ambitious project came to its end. In early August of 1956 the newspapers reported: “Beside the shabby huts of the Mahlool neighborhood, by the hill of love, one pool of shallow water shall be opened, and in late September the other pools will open along with a large café.” Many municipal leaders and members of the community came to open the large pool, the likes of which had never been seen in Israel before. The Gordon Pool soon became a major meeting point for residents of Tel Aviv and central Israel, who enjoyed the cool and refreshing water. Every day, the water for the pool was pumped from an underground well of salt water, at a fixed temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.
Throughout the years, the Gordon Pool became synonymous with the city of Tel Aviv. The mineral-rich underground water that filled the pool, along with the beautiful landscape, turned it to an optimal rendezvous for young couples who enjoyed bathing in its waters while gazing upon the beautiful sunsets. Thus, from early morning until evening, the Gordon Pool was filled with bathers who enjoyed the facilities, the clear water and the magical atmosphere that were an integral part of the Gordon Pool’s charm.
In the 1990’s, environmental laws and poor maintenance brought a breakthrough. The famous pool that was one of Tel Aviv’s landmarks emptied of its swimmers, families, and tourists. This needed a change that would rescue the mythological pool and revitalize it.
The Municipality of Tel Aviv embarked on an endeavor to rehabilitate the Gordon Pool. Thanks to massive financial investments, the Gordon Pool became one of Israel’s most beautiful swimming pools. The compound was renovated and surrounded with wooden decks. A huge shade was spread over the kiddie pool and a bicycle path was paved to enable direct access from Tel Aviv’s beautiful promenade. The wall around the pool, which had previously blocked the access to the sea, was removed. Access to the open public area was now granted, allowing visitors to look out onto the sea and the marina.
The new and prestigious gym area was opened to the public. Advanced planning by the finest experts turned it into one of Tel Aviv’s most desirable fitness centers, and simultaneously into a real home. Innovative equipment and a trained professional staff are an inseparable part of the many benefits awaiting members in the complex and the Gordon Pool. The mineral-rich underground water, the breathtaking scenery afforded by its perfect location, and the advanced fitness equipment have restored the Gordon Pool to its heyday. Today, over 50 years after laying its cornerstone, the Gordon Pool is one of Tel Aviv’s most refreshing gems. It has received international acknowledgment and is a drawing point for many visitors – young and old alike – families and children, all who participate in its magical charm.