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Sutro Baths, San Francisco

The Sutro Baths was a large, privately owned public saltwater swimming pool complex in the Lands End area of the Outer Richmond District in western San Francisco, California.
Built in 1896, it is located near the Cliff House, Seal Rocks, and Sutro Heights Park. The facility burned down in June 1966 and is now in ruins. The site is within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Sutro Historic District.
On March 14, 1896, the Sutro Baths were opened to the public as the world's largest indoor swimming pool establishment. The baths were built on the western side of San Francisco by wealthy entrepreneur and former mayor of San Francisco (1894–1896) Adolph Sutro.
The structure was situated in a small beach inlet below the Cliff House, also owned by Adolph Sutro at the time. Both the Cliff House and the former baths site are now a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, operated by the United States National Park Service. The baths struggled for years, mostly due to the very high operating and maintenance costs. Shortly after closing, a fire in 1966 destroyed the building while it was in the process of being demolished. All that remains of the site are concrete walls, blocked off stairs and passageways, and a tunnel with a deep crevice in the middle. The cause of the fire was determined to be arson. Shortly afterwards, the developers left San Francisco and claimed insurance money.
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Sutro Baths Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
405 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • An interesting place to visit with a history over 150 years old. The Lands End Visitor's Center offers books, photos and information about this area as well as artifacts collected after it's demise. Y...  more »
  • As a native of San Francisco, I was fortunate as a kid to have visited the Sutro Bath House. Originally, the facility from the early 1900's included multiple pools enclosed in a mostly glass structure...  more »
Google
  • This place was very cool to explore for an hour or so! There are quite a steep set of stairs and walkway down, so I wouldn’t recommend it for someone with limited mobility. You can walk along the edge of the baths and sit overlooking the bay. There’s a fair amount of people walking around, but the waves crash loudly enough to give your own sense of privacy. Off to one side, there’s a little cave tunnel where you can look down and see some waves coming in, and there’s a great vista at the end.
  • Don’t understand why this attraction is not advertised more amongst the places to visit in San Francisco. Located at the corner of Lands End on the western side of San Francisco and top of Oceans Beach it is a nice place to visit and learn fascinating history of this once largest in the world privately own salt water swimming pool up to its firefly tragic demise in 1966. Never rebuild once struggling due to operating costs structure burn down due to suspected arson as a cause. For people who like hiking I would suggest to get there from north through Lands End - you will not regret it!!!
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