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Mendacity and Mayhem: Tennessee Williams goes for a dip

Memoirs & Miscellany, Swimming & Beaches No Comments »

tennessee_williams_nywtsBy David Witter

Formerly part of the Medinah Athletic Club, the swimming pool at 505 North Michigan is a 1920s Hollywood/Arabian fantasy, complete with gilded fountains and thousands of hand-laid mosaic tiles surrounding a Junior Olympic-sized natatorium. Now belonging to the Hotel Inter-Continental, it has attracted more than its share of celebrities and artists. Built in 1929, the screen’s first Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller showed off his jungle dives there. During the 1940s, screen and swimming siren Esther Williams also graced its waters. But the most notable of these may have been Tennessee Williams. Like “The Night of the Iguana”’s Rev. Lawrence T. Shannon returning to the Pacific Ocean, Williams regularly sought refuge from a hostile, critical world in the pool’s aqua blue waters. Read the rest of this entry »