I've been photographing the Sutro Baths ruins since the mid 1990s. One thing that did not occur to me in the beginning was that the ruins were still evolving... well, devolving, continuing to crumble. The most dramatic feature of this — for me, at least — was the wooden stairs on the far northern platform that I use as the main iconography for this site, which no longer exist. The main background photo at left was taken in 1997. Given the harsh conditions of the coast, not to mention constant use (and some abuse), they fell apart plank by plank until even those were carried away.

Another major piece to disintegrate in recent times was the wooden platform near the entrance of the cave. I used to sit on it while the waves crashed up underneath me, then came some breaking and the barrier, and now there is nothing left of it. The stone and metal structures are nearly indestructible, but a lot of them are currently marred with extensive graffiti and no longer appear as in the photos. Sutro is not frozen in time and continues to live with us today in its own way.



fog
My faves — quintessential Sutro Baths. It's usually fogged over, but this day was particularly mysterious.


stairs + structures
Steps to nowhere.


voyeur
Journeys beyond the No Trespassing signs.


pipes + parts
Industrial pieces amongst the rubble.




Scene from The Lineup (1958) filmed at Sutro Baths after conversion to skating rink.