Sutro Baths Adolph Sutro opens his Baths in 1896 with one fresh-water and six salt-water pools, 30 swimming rings, 9 spring boards, 7 slides, 3 trapezes, 2 diving platforms, 500 dressing rooms, hundreds of showers, thousands of bathing suits, a gym, a shoot-the-chutes, bucking broncos, and a museum filled with what Sutro calls "bric-a-brac" to "amuse and instruct".
"I must have it large, pretentious, in keeping with the environment, with the Heights, with the great ocean itself..."
-- Adolph Sutro, Engineer, Philanthropist, Mayor of San Francisco
Sutro Baths, Interior, ca. 1904
But it is the swimming -- and the scratchy wool bathing suits -- that San Franciscans and visitors who experience the joys of Sutro Baths will remember most.
"All around the echoing, enveloping sound of splash and laughter and shouts, the close feel of heat and high humidity, the engrossing smell compounded of saltwater, dampness, wet cloth, human bodies and frying hot dogs"
--John Allen, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
Sutro Baths, Swimming Lessons, 1935