Fante-Leone Pool Could Be Torn Down

We were in the neighborhood yesterday picking up some cheese and noticed a zoning notice at 837 Montrose St., the former Fante-Leone swimming pool.

The pool

We love this building. Well, the facade on Montrose St., at least. We wrote a post about it last year, detailing some of its history and wondering when the building would eventually sell. At the time, it was listed for $477,500 and had been on the market for a couple of years.

Let Brotherly Love Continue

When we first spied the zoning notice, we were jazzed to see the orange sign and hopeful that the developer would redevelop the site and reuse the existing facade in some creative way. Upon closer examination, this doesn’t appear to be what’s going to happen. According to the zoning notice, the developer intends to completely demolish the existing building and replace it with a new three story, three unit residence with three parking spaces.

From a dollars and cents development standpoint, this move makes sense. The amount of development taking place on the 800 blocks of Montrose and Christian Streets indicates a strong market in the area.

Looking east on Montrose St., you can see the large new homes now have facades

But there is something that will be lost if this old pool is ultimately demolished. An interesting piece of architecture. Added architectural variety in the area. A connection to the neighborhood’s history.

We don’t know what the future will bring at this site, as the developers will be presenting this project to Bella Vista Town Watch tonight. Hopefully, a compromise can be crafted that pays homage to the site’s history but still allows for its redevelopment. We shall see…