The Porter Pool Bathhouse is one of several examples of Art Deco architecture in Shelbyville. Designed by D.A. Bohlen in 1930, the bathhouse was paired with a public pool that was managed by the American Legion from 1930-1955. At that point the Shelbyville Parks Department was responsible for the upkeep of the pool and bathhouse. Unfortunately the pool was demolished in 1998 and the bathhouse is now the only remaining feature to represent swimming of that era.
The cross-shaped building is highlighted by a 2-story centralized tower capped by an octagonal pyramidal roof. It exemplifies the health and safety standards that were required for public swimming facilities of the time. The interior surfaces are either concrete or glazed block to allow for ease of cleaning. Footbaths and showers also promoted a hygienic environment. A variety of dormers, louvers, and windows are present throughout the building to permit adequate air flow to dry out the building. Historic Preservation Fund grants, administered by the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, were used to consider re-use options for the Porter Pool Bathhouse. It is now being used as a visitors’ center for the city of Shelbyville.