Jules Wilson Design Studio was responsible for the full redesign of the facility, from the conceptual architecture to interior design. The firm worked with lead architect James Gates to realize the vision of the project, taking care to preserve the history of Southern California’s oldest largest swimming pool. The Plunge, originally known as The Natatorium, a 60-foot by 175-foot swimming pool, was once the largest salt-water pool in the world holding 400,000 gallons of water and was the centerpiece of Belmont Park when it opened in 1925 as the Mission Beach Amusement Center.
The existing Spanish Renaissance-style building was demolished due to its corroded structure closing its doors in 2014 because of unsafe conditions. A new building was designed and built out of aluminum and glass. After developer John D. Spreckels’ death in 1926, the Plunge and Belmont Park were donated to the city of San Diego. Working closely with the city of San Diego’s Historical Resources Board and Save Our Heritage Organization, historical features from the original 1925 structure as well as replicas of original entrance archways were included. A memorial plaque is paced under the archways honors Maruta Gardner, a community leader of Mission Beach and Belmont Park.