The Popular Abandoned (Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned)


Good Morning:

From the day it opened in 1896 until the day it was abandoned in 1966, the Sutro Baths did nothing but lose money. Didn’t matter if the Baths were baths, or a museum, or a concert hall seating 8,000, or a skating rink, or whatever else, the Baths lost money. They didn’t even succeed at closing; they tried to demolish the Baths, but Adolph Sutro’s mad obsession burnt to the ground instead.

So how can the abandoned become so popular?

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Just one of those paradoxes, I suppose. Greece has its Parthenon devoted to Athena, Egypt has its Great Pyramid of Giza devoted to a pharaoh. San Francisco has a financial disaster. Of such is abandoned immortality made.

Vonn Scott Bair


14 responses »

    • Marie: I do try to lead off with the picture that I think/hope is/might be the best. Unfortunately, I could not line up that freighter on the horizon above the “V” shaped indentation in that cluster of rocks (part of Seals Rocks). I also forgot to mention that all of these pictures are uncropped and unedited. Thanks for visiting. Vonn Scott Bair

      • Marie: True. I also like to give myself the extra challenge of what filmmakers call “editing in the camera,” getting the shot so right it doesn’t need editing–which in my case happens about once in every thousand pictures! Vonn Scott Bair

    • Florian: That certainly seems to be the case! Now back in 1896, western SF consisted of unoccupied sand dunes and no transportation, so Adolph Sutro not only had to build the Baths, he had to build a railroad to take people there, which teaches us a lesson–location, location, location. Vonn Scott Bair

      • Yeah, location kills a lot of projects here in Japan, too – despite the fantastic public transportation. But there are still so many places hours away from the next bigger city and a lot of mountain roads / coastal streets are winding and narrow. Even if you have a car, hardly anybody wants to suffer through that for an hour or two…

      • Florian: The San Francisco Bay Area has many locations that manage to be both remote and isolated and still close to everything else at the same time. I had never heard of “unincorporated land” or “census designated places” until I moved here. The Santa Cruz Mountains, Highway 1, and Marin County have plenty of winding and narrow mountain/coastal roads. Vonn Scott Bair

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