The Sutro Baths: A popular San Francisco day trip
Archaeology
The Sutro Baths: A popular San Francisco day trip

The Sutro Bath Ruins Are A Modern Day Archaeological City

One of the popular but still fairly under the radar day trips around San Francisco is the ruins of the Sutro Baths. The ruins are indeed ruins, but they are quite modern (especially for ruins).
Opened in 1890, the baths were at the time, the world's largest indoor swimming pool. Developed by wealthy entrepreneur and at one time San Francisco mayor Adolph Sutro. Less of a bathhouse and more of a large salt water swimming pool, the Sutro Baths had trouble staying afloat financially due to high operating costs.
Maintaining a pool of that size, even a salt water one, was not cheap. The baths were closed, and shortly after their closure in 1966, the baths burned down in an act of arson.
Insurance money was collected, and everybody moved on. But the ruins of the baths remained, and still remain to this day. It is now a popular spot for urban explorers and adventurers.
Currently there is no motion to demolish or clean up the ruins. The land and by extension ruins are technically within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Sutro Historic District. These ruins aren't going anywhere anytime soon. They make for a fun hike, but it is important to be careful climbing around them.
The Sutro Baths have lived a long and strange life, and if anything it is rather gratifying knowing that the baths are still enjoyed today, albeit in an entirely different way.
The baths burning in 1966.
The baths burning in 1966.
The baths during better days.
The baths during better days.
“In 1966, the baths burned down in an act of arson.”
The ruins next to the Pacific Ocean.
The ruins next to the Pacific Ocean.
People exploring the ruins of the baths.
People exploring the ruins of the baths.
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