Growing up in Boston, I’ve seen many legendary spots come and go over the years. Turtles was dug up and destroyed to be replaced by a newer style of playground, City Hospital was destroyed for modernization of the hospital and surrounding areas, the Blackhole was basically landscaped over and Metals was taken away and returned multiple times and now it sits surrounded by chains. Now the unimaginable has happened – the destruction of the Cambridge Pool. I never thought I would see this icon of Boston area skating fall but, after a couple of months of construction, they have destroyed my favorite place to skate. What was once a 12’ deep icon of gnarly skating has had its deep end filled so it’s only 5’ 6” deep.“I never thought I would see this icon of Boston area skating fall but, after a couple of months of construction, they have destroyed my favorite place to skate. What was once a 12’ deep icon of gnarly skating has had its deep end filled so it’s only 5’ 6” deep.”
This all stems from a swimming accident that happened this past summer when a woman drowned in a public pool after hitting her head on the way down a slide. Mind you, this wasn’t at the Cambridge Pool, it happened in Fall River and the screwy part was that the water in the pool was so murky that they didn’t find her body until two days later. There were even state inspectors there to check the water quality who okayed the murky water and her body was in the water as they tested it. Obviously, this sparked all sorts of outrage statewide and resulted in the state of Massachusetts deciding to fill in the deep ends of all state managed pools over 5’6” or 6’ deep. Being 12’ deep, the Cambridge Pool was on the state’s list.
Now let’s rewind a little bit or, actually, more like thirty plus years. My friend Kevin Day rode the pool for the first time back in 1977 at age 15. He can tell you the exact day and I think he even has a photo from that day. He always says that when he and his buddies started skating the pool, there was already another group of older surf guys who skated the pool before them, so people may have been skating it as early as the early ‘70s. The pool itself was built back in the ‘60s, so who really knows how long ago the first skateboarder hopped the fence and got some carves in.