ISHOF’s $218 Million Construction Project is finally just around the corner! September 2024!

A Historic Day for Fort Lauderdale

On July 5, 2024, we marked a significant moment in history as we celebrated a landmark event
for the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF). This occasion was a testament to the
enduring legacy and continuous evolution of our community’s commitment to aquatic sports and

Reflecting on a Century of Progress

Let’s take a step back in time to the late 1920s, when the Casino Pool was constructed. The
visionaries behind this project—Mayor Will J. Reed, Dr. C.R. Kistler, City Manager I.H.
Stallings, and businessman Frank Stranahan—had five primary goals: to boost tourism, provide
community recreation, promote health and fitness, instill civic pride, and host events and
competitions. The endorsement of Olympic hero Johnny Weissmuller, who had won multiple
medals in the 1924 Paris and 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, lent legitimacy to the project.

Fast forward forty years to the 1960s, another group of civic leaders, including Jack Nelson,
Buck Dawson, Whitey Overton, Mayor Bill Horan, and Judge G. Harold Martin, played a pivotal
role in establishing the International Swimming Hall of Fame. This new facility replaced the
original Casino pool and continued the legacy of excellence in aquatics.

A New Vision for the Future
Now, another sixty years later, history is repeating itself at a visionary level. Our journey began
in 2018 when the city and ISHOF signed a new 30-year lease. This agreement set the stage for
significant developments, including the replacement of the center 50-meter pool and dive well,
and the spectator stands which were condemned in 2015.

A turning point came during a VIP luncheon at the Riverside Hotel, part of the 2018 induction
ceremonies. Bruce Wigo’s sketch of a 27-meter dive tower caught the eye of Mayor Dean Trantalis,
who promptly secured funding for its construction. This dive tower is a strategic advantage,
positioning us competitively for hosting events across the United States.

Acknowledging Today’s Visionary Leaders

Today’s historic achievements are thanks to the leadership and vision of key individuals:

*Mayor Dean Trantalis and Commissioner Steven Glassman have been critical to realizing this vision.

*Master Developer Mario Caprini has validated and championed the project as a viable
public-private partnership, ensuring ISHOF remains central while integrating an
*Corey Olson and the Hensel Phelps team have brought this vision to life with their
construction expertise.
*Bill Brown, President of the Central Business Alliance has provided unwavering political
support crucial to our success.

The Core Mission of ISHOF

As we celebrate this milestone, lets remember the three key aspects of ISHOF’s mission:

    1. Honoring the Aquatic Heroes: Our annual induction ceremonies celebrate the achievements
      of the world’s greatest aquatic athletes.
    2. Preserving History: Our extensive library documents the history of humanity’s
      relationship with water.
    3. Promoting Water Safety: Inspired by Judge G. Harold Martin in the 1970s, our “Every
      Child a Swimmer” initiative, led by Casey McGovern, raises public awareness about
      child drowning prevention. We are dedicated to providing swim lessons to children from
      financially disadvantaged families and advocating for legislation to inform parents about
      water safety. So far, five states have enacted related laws, with more on the way.
      Thank you for your continued support as we build on this legacy and create a brighter future for
      aquatic sports and education in our community!

    Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project on YOUR Hall of Fame! We need your support, now more than ever while we are under contruction.

    To donate, Click here:

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