Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sutro Baths Ruins - Envelope #5

As I look at what used to be Sutro Baths, conflicting feelings of sadness and tranquility overtake me.  At the turn of the century, these baths were the epitome of opulence in San Francisco. Now they are  pools of brackish water.

At the time of the opening, it was the largest indoor swimming pool facility in the world. They were built by entrepreneur and former SF Mayor, Adolph Sutro. As I photograph the ruins I feel as though I am capturing someone else's dreams, smashed.  It's a shocking contrast to what lies beyond the edge of the foundation; the glorious foamy Pacific. 

This emptiness was once filled by 7 large baths (6 salt water, 1 freshwater all set at different temperatures), a skating rink and a concert hall. Too expensive to maintain, they eventually shut down.  In 1966, during demolition the baths burned down

I guess folks swam more for recreation then.

children playing in what I believe were dressing rooms

©  2012 by Hayley Thistlethwaite all rights reserved