Sutro's Glass Palace: The Story of Sutro Baths

Sutro's Glass Palace: The Story of Sutro Baths

by John A. Martini


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Like a majestic ocean liner or a grand hotel, the Victorian-era Sutro Baths dazzled visitors with its over-the-top opulence and its many attractions: seven swimming pools filled with filtered and heated seawater, a museum, restaurants, tropical plants, promenades, and seating for thousands of spectators, all covered by more than 100,000 square feet of glass.

The creation of Comstock millionaire Adolph Sutro, the Baths opened in 1894 and ended in fire in 1966. Once the debris was cleared, little remained of Sutro’s ambitious structure, which he intended to outshine the baths of Rome. Today, visitors explore its concrete ruins and mysterious tunnels, which are protected by the National Park Service as part of the larger Lands End site.

Sutro’s Glass Palace, the fascinating story of a vanished but enduring piece of San Francisco history, comprehensively answers the question, “What was this place?”.

Inside you'll find:

  • An in-depth account of the rise and fall of Sutro Baths

  • Detailed architectural renderings and diagrams

  • Historical and contemporary photographs

  • News stories of the day revealing the Baths’ darker side

  • A field guide to the ruins

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780976149460
Publisher: Hole in the Head Press
Publication date: 12/15/2013
Pages: 140
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

John A. Martini is a professional researcher, historical consultant, and a former National Park Service Ranger who worked at such diverse locations as Fort Point National Historic Site, Alcatraz Island, the National Maritime Museum, the U.S.S. Arizona National Memorial, the Presidio of San Francisco, and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. He is an acknowledged expert on America's coastal defenses and consults with numerous state and federal agencies on the restoration of seacoast fortifications and artillery pieces. He lives in Fairfax, California.

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