The Sutro Baths were a unique part of both San Francisco history and in the history of public entertainment spaces and theme parks. Built in 1896 at a cost of about 1 million dollars (1896 dollars, not adjusted for inflation), the baths were a series of hot and cold swimming pools totalling 1.7 million gallons of water. Also in the baths were waterslides, high dives, and tropical plants for ambiance. 10,000 people could visit the baths at one time.

The complex in total included 3 restaurants seating 1,000 people at a time, art and history galleries, and an amphitheater seating 3,700. Unfortunately none of this added up to commerical success and after stints as an ice-skating rink and the planned location of hihg-rise apartments, the baths burned to the ground in 1966. Today it is a National Park service site and open to the public at their own risk. The same waves that could fill the 1.7 million gallon baths in 1 hour have also swept sightseers off the cliffs to their deaths.