Discovering the ruins of the Sutro Baths


In California, the closest thing we have to ruins might be the missions. Maggie and I joked about that this past weekend as we walked around the skeletons of the Sutro Baths and kept referring to the site as “like, ruins.”

Have you heard of this place at the edge of the sea in San Francisco? The Baths — the world’s largest indoor swimming pool — were built in the 1890s by a wealthy entrepreneur. It had seven pools, one fresh water and the others were salt water. The pools struggled to stay open, and closed in the ’60s. Shortly after, a fire erupted and finished off what was already in the process of being demolished.

Now, the Sutro Baths are left, quite literally, in ruins. You can walk through some of the walkways and climb the concrete walls. It’s fun to see, but hard to imagine what it was like more than 100 years ago.

Here’s a little peak into our hike down the stairs to the Sutro Baths. Do you know any other “ruins” out there?


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4 Responses to Discovering the ruins of the Sutro Baths

  1. There was also an ice rink. I remember skating there with my aunt when I was a little girl. It must have been not long before they actually closed and burned. Since then I have spent many hours clamouring over the ruins. I haven’t been back since I moved to Sacramento, sounds like it’s time for a road trip…

  2. Beautiful photos L., looks like a great place to explore.

  3. Barbara McAllen says:

    I remember swimming there when I was in high school. You had to wear there terrible swim suits.
    Itchy and not good looking suits. It was fun to jump into the different pools. They were heated in
    some. The way down to the pools you passed an area with plants and all sorts of believe it or not
    stuff. Always fun to look at on the long walk. The ice rink was fun too. After the pools closed they
    painted the windows with white paint so you couldn’t see the pools from the rink anymore. To bad the whole thing is gone. A wonderful place for everyone, especially teens.

  4. Maggie says:

    I wanna go back there right now. I wish it still existed. I love the photo you took of what they looked like in the 50s/60s.

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