Bill And Eric's Excellent Adventure

Scott Webb Headshot

Scott WebbI got a kick out of seeing the pictures and reading about Eric's road trips with Bill Rowley to the fabled Neptune Pool at the Hearst Castle and various historic pools and water features in L.A.

I don't often think of pools and water features as historic artifacts, but these certainly qualify. The classical architecture and sheer grandeur of William Randolph Hearst's pool speak to us from another time; it is a true monument to the industry, perhaps the greatest in North America.

Eric takes us along for the trip, wandering down into the dank, dripping catacombs under the Neptune for a look at its ancient plumbing. Later, the two intrepid pool industry icons climb the slopes of an old WWII coastal defense installation to have a look at the "Hey Rookie Pool," a vessel built in 1943 at Fort McArthur, now crumbling into disrepair. They cap off the trip with a visit to the stately Virginia Robinson Gardens, the first grand estate in Beverly Hills, and the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial.

With a towering career in the design and engineering of pools, including some of the most prominent and widely used facilities found anywhere in the world, Dr. Rowley has been accorded the honor of restoring these historic places — and Eric the honor of joining him.

If you know Eric, personally or through his writings at AQUA or back when we was with WaterShapes, you know you're riding along with someone who appreciates every last piece of tile, every stately curve of the architect's design. And that helps you appreciate them, too.

We'll check back with the two as the work proceeds from planning to execution, and these places become sound again. It's a rare opportunity to watch the past come back to life and connect with it again. For those of us who love history, that's a good feeling.

Scott Webb

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