Splish, Splash, I was Taking a Bath!

Sutro Baths

March 14, 1896
Sutro Baths Opens in San Francisco

Do you like to splash around in water? You would have loved the turn-of-the-century Sutro Baths. Mayor Adolph Sutro made a big splash in San Francisco when he opened the popular Sutro Baths on March 14, 1896. Seven thousand people gathered at Ocean Beach, below the beautiful Cliff House Hotel, to celebrate the opening of the extravagant public bathhouse. What a big, fun place to visit!

Inside the enormous glass structure that housed the Sutro Baths were seven pools, more than 500 private dressing rooms, viewing galleries, restaurants, and natural history exhibits. Oh, and a giant slide that led into a pool of steam-heated seawater piped in from the Pacific. The Sutro Baths are now only ruins below a new Cliff House. But you can still visit there, walk along Ocean Beach, and imagine a frolicking day at the Sutro Baths. This old movie of Sutro should help; check it out. Is your public pool anything like it? Ask your parents or grandparents if they ever visited or heard of the Sutro Baths.