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The Haunted Outcome of San Francisco’s Abandoned Sutro Baths

posted: 03/14/17
by: Kelly McClure

Sutro Baths Ruins, San Francisco-Aug2004.jpg
Photo: Rabit

Adolph Sutro, a German-American millionaire who made his fortune as an engineer, spent $1million on a lavish bathhouse project in 1896. Constructed in the Golden Gate Recreational Area in San Francisco, the massive water park sat right up against the Pacific Ocean and featured seven large swimming pools - both saltwater and freshwater - and could fit over 10,000 people. The idea for the project sprung from Sutro's own love of ocean life and he hoped the Sutro Baths would bring the community together and provide a place for everyone to relax and enjoy nature the same way he was able to do.

"No baths so large, so expensive, or so perfect in every detail have ever before been built in America, or, perhaps, in the world," The New York Times wrote in an article about the park in 1894. Although a hit with the public, Sutro Baths never quite broke even financially and quickly fell into ruin. Sutro died only a few short years after the park opened, and then the Great Depression hit, causing the remaining Sutro family to sell the park to developers who planned to level it and turn the land into residential housing. Before construction was underway a fire broke out that made it impossible to proceed and the renovations were abandoned for good.

Sutro baths pic2.jpeg
Photo: FlyingToaster

The ruins that were once the Sutro Baths were eventually incorporated permanently into the Golden Gate Recreational Area and preserved as a spooky reminder of what once was. Visitors to the grounds very frequently report paranormal activity, most notable of which is full-body apparitions of people in vintage bathing suits - as though they never abandoned the fun.

More from Kelly McClure

[via: The Daily Beast]

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