We spend a lot of time admiring magnificently designed bathrooms, and sometimes even stunning ocean-side infinity pools. How about we travel back to the late 19th century and fuse those two ideas together?

Take a moment out of your Monday to look at the modern ruins of the great Sutro Baths bathhouse of San Francisco.

If you visit the site today, you’ll be greeted with “Crashing waves, labyrinthine structures, wild lilies, cliff-lodged cypress trees reaching towards the ocean, a thundering cave, and but a single signpost warning you of getting thrown off rocks and dying.”

It’s an amazing site, and one that I would encourage spending any free weekend afternoon exploring.

 

The Sutro Baths of San Francisco are the eerie remains of what used to be the world’s largest indoor swimming pool establishment. Adolph Sutro, an eccentric, wealthy entrepreneur and one-time mayor of San Francisco, built this impressive public facility in the 1800s. It was made of mostly glass, iron, and reinforced concrete and featured 7 different kinds of pools – 1 freshwater, and 6 saltwater pools with different temperatures. During high tide, water from the ocean would flow into the pools and recycle 2 million gallons of water. There was also a concert hall with seating for 8000 people and an ice skating rink.

Unfortunately, the maintenance costs were too high and the Sutro Baths were eventually deserted. The building that housed the pools burned down in a fire in 1966, and the site has been in ruins ever since. The Golden Gate National Recreation area purchased the land and preserved it as one of San Francisco’s most picturesque landmarks.

 

Below is an ABC7news segment commemorating the 45th Anniversary since the burning of the Sutro Baths. Please watch the informative piece and plan your visit soon!

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