Above: Bicyclists ride past the former Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool on Oct. 26, 2014, before the building was demolished that year. Photo by Brian Addison.
Aesthetically, the building was an ode to the Modern-Greco design, with white pillars typical of Greek architecture mixed with the clean, straight-line style of mid-century modern design. One of its most admirable aspects was how it catered to spectators: If you were to sit on the northern set of bleachers, you were not just provided a spectacular view of the athletes but a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean thanks to the massive glass walls that anchor both the southern and northern sides of the building.
It went on to host the Olympic trials once more in 1976 and acted as a training site for the 1984 Olympics, in addition to a number of NCAA Championships, Pac 10 and Big West Championships, CIF Southern California High School Championships, Speedo Championship Series meets and the annual Southern California “Q” meet.
It's the place where three-time Gold medalist Aaron Peirsol won his senior-year CIF championship. It's the place where gold medalist Jason Lezak set records at the Big West Championships.
One of the pools most recent events, the Toyota Southern California Grand Prix of Swimming, was held in both 2007 and 2008. When you look at the roster now, one would notice Michael Phelps, just beginning to gain a dedicated fan base at the time. However, it was five-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin for whom the event holds the most value: She broke the US record—the very one she held—in the 200-yard freestyle.