Can't afford a condo? Buy the Sutro Baths instead. Online. An archetypical San Francisco image and reproduced in posters for decades, an original billboard for the Sutro Baths is coming up for sale on Friday June 25 at Christies, the New York auction house. At 79 by 82 inches and estimated to fetch $12K-$18K (or a mere $285 to $400 per square foot). To quote the Christies lot notes:
In 1881, former San Francisco mayor, Adolph Sutro, purchased most of the western headlands of San Francisco with the intention of erecting a splendid baths and recreation site along the Pacific Ocean. Five years later, Sutro Baths, a fabulous, three-acre, glass-enclosed public baths facility opened with much fanfare, creating a veritable urban oasis seven miles from the city's center. With its vivid colors and wonderful detail, this rare color lithograph recalls the energy and excitement that surely pervaded this impressive complex. Grand in promotion as well as scale, the Sutro Baths were advertised by large billboards such as this monumental work, composed of six individually printed pieces, which have been assembled in registration and glued together to form the final work. Well, OK! Sutro Baths burned down in 1966, but not without a supporting role as a skating rink in the 1958 noir classic The Lineup. Nostalgia overdose and a very nervous Eli Wallach, after the jump.
One project that never would have gotten past the California Coastal Commission: