September 18, 2009

Sutro Baths


Sometimes I wish the grand public works would come back into favor.

A visitor to the Baths not only had a choice of 7 different swimming pools—one fresh water and six salt water baths ranging in temperatures—but could visit a museum displaying Sutro's large and varied personal collection of artifacts from his travels, a concert hall, seating for 8,000, and, at one time, an ice skating rink. During high tides, water would flow directly into the pools from the nearby ocean, recycling the 2 million US gallons of water in about an hour. During low tides, a powerful turbine water pump, built inside a cave at sea level, could be switched on from a control room and could fill the tanks at a rate of 6,000 US gallons a minute (380 L/s), recycling all the water in five hours.

San Francisco, California
1880s
from Alamedianinfo.com

8 comments:

Steph said...

Damn. That makes me wish I was born a hundred years earlier.

downtown guy said...

I know, right? It was closed and then in the 60s it burned down. You can still see the remains of the pools in the area.

Steph said...

Kinda stoopid to have that much glass overhead in Frisco though.

downtown guy said...

I didn't even think about that, but you're right.

Ms. Moon said...

I always think of what the Alcazar must have looked like in St. Augustine when that middle part was a pool. Try as I might, I can't imagine water where we are eating curried chicken salad.

downtown guy said...

Just think of eating it under water.

Anna said...

Hey, fellow! I've totally been to the sutro bath ruins and it's amazing. Nick used to go there in high school to drink in the middle of the night. It looks out over the water and is creepy and beautiful. There also used to be a small museum above called Musee Mechanique containing a bunch of old arcade games from the turn of the 20th century, but because they started retrofitting the building for earthquakes, it moved to the touristy bay-side waterfront.

Love from Brooklyn,
Anna

downtown guy said...

Hey, lady! That is awesome. I can't imagine what kind of stories I would have come up with over the years if I grew up playing around on ruins like that.

Love from Tally