Hole in the Head Press

  • From Sutro's Glass Palace
  • From Sutro's Glass Palace
  • From Sutro's Glass Palace
  • From Sutro's Glass Palace
  • From Sutro's Glass Palace
  • From Sutro's Glass Palace
  • From Sutro's Glass Palace
  • From Sutro's Glass Palace
  • From Sutro's Glass Palace

Sutro's Glass Palace
The Story of Sutro Baths

Kirkus Review

By John A. Martini

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?”

ISBN: 978-0-9761494-6-0

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

Sutro's Glass Palace

  • A small place would not satisfy me. I must have it large, pretentious, in keeping with the Heights and the great ocean itself. . . .

    Adolph Sutro, 1894
  • The ultimate Sutro Baths history, one that will stand the test of time to define a grand landmark. Written with a critical eye on the historical record, getting both the facts and the story right. Combined with the historic photos and drawings, the illustrations bring the Baths to life as nothing else could have.

    James R. Smith, Author, San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach
  • Expertly written, this lavishly illustrated book brings San Francisco’s Sutro Baths back to life. Martini’s prose and the book’s exceptional design lead you not only through the architecture, engineering, and history of the vanished landmark, but also skillfully guide you through the massive complex of ruins that mark where it once stood.

    James Delgado, Director, Maritime Heritage Program, NOAA, and Author, Gold Rush Port: The Maritime Archaeology of San Francisco's Waterfront
  • For those who visited Sutro Baths decades ago, for those who visited the ruins and wondered what once stood there, and for those who have only recently discovered them. Now we can see the Baths in all their glory, exactly as they once stood. John Martini has reconstructed the Baths within this book. A truly amazing history.