Spray at Sutro (20090110)
[caption id="attachment_553" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Sutro Baths ruins, San Francisco, CA. Seth Rosenblatt (c) 2009."][/caption] Parental Unit the Elder and Sibling the Younger and I toured the newly re-opened Sutro Baths ruins today. The history of Sutro Baths is a typical tale of San Franciscan development. Born at the close of the 19th century, it struggled with operating costs during the mid-20th century before closing in the 1960s. Just after, it succumbed to a destructive and somewhat suspicious fire. The excellent Outside Lands Web site documents the history of the attraction. It's always been a source of mild curiosity for me. At the far northwestern tip of San Francisco, the baths have been an obliterated pit as long as I've known them. Little is left of the anything but the foundations, but their enormous footprint can still fire the imagination. Even lesser known was they played host to more than just ocean temperature and heated pools. The Outside Lands site points out that to maintain public interest, owner Adolph Sutro hosted "trapeze acts, contortionists, dwarf boxing matches, magicians and high-diving canines" at the Baths. Egyptian mummies also made it out to the swimming and carnival extravaganza, which probably fit right at home next to the stuffed animal decorations.