Friday, October 31, 2014
Robert Tapscott Aquatic Center
Houston's Julia C. Hester House just opened their new Wellness Center. Story here.
The facilities were named after Dutton (Harold V. Dutton Jr. Recreation Center) and Robert Tapscott (Robert Tapscott Aquatic Center). Tapscott served as athletic director, swimming coach and music teacher at Hester House. Both Lee and Dutton spoke fondly of him.
Dutton has a rich history with Hester House, having grown up at the facility. He worked as a janitor there and later served as executive director.
Reflecting on the old Hester House swimming pool, Dutton said, “We didn’t have a swimming pool, we had a mosquito pond. We used it three months and they had it the rest of the year.” Because of his concern, Dutton rallied the support of architect Willie Jordan and Lee to help change conditions at Hester House.
“We gave Hester House back to the Fifth Ward community. Hester House is not a place for landing, it is a place for launching – launching dreams,” he said.
The old Hester House pool had its issues. From the Houston Chronicle in 1958 (The Swimming Pool Went Swimming):
Read that story here.