Sutro Baths was built by Adolph Sutro, San Francisco philanthropist, at the western edge of the city, near Sutro Heights, his home, and the third Cliff House (depending on how you count them), which he built. Both are visible behind the Baths in this postcard.
My grandfather took me to Sutro Baths several times when I was little. The pools had been converted into ice skating rinks. I remember the Egyptian mummies, the Tucker automobile, and Tom Thumb's carriage. Some years before, in 1958, the Baths had appeared in the movie version of The Lineup, directed by Don Siegel.
I was playing in my backyard on 26-June-1966 when the sky grew dark and black embers started flying overhead. Sutro Baths, which was being demolished to make way for apartments, had caught fire. The mummies and the Tucker and Tom Thumb's carriage had already been removed.
The developer went bankrupt, and the cove where the baths stood is a nice place to hike.
The western edge of San Francisco, around Land's End, has always been one of my favorite places.
I took this photo of the ruins on 06-December-2008.
|San Francisco Call, 17-April-1897|