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Fleishhacker bathhouse facing demolition

SFGate
Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Fleishhacker bathhouse facing demolition
The last trace of the gargantuan Fleishhacker Pool, an audacious venture designed for tough 20th century San Franciscans who didn't let icy wind and fog deter a plunge into the briny depths, will soon be history. The famous pool's landmark bathhouse, once a handsome structure and now a ruin, will be demolished over the next two weeks and carted away to live only in the annals of local history, city officials announced Tuesday. The plan is to preserve one of the building's ornate porticos and some of the roof tiles and display them as symbols of the historical significance of the city-owned site on Sloat Boulevard and the Great Highway, adjacent to the San Francisco Zoo. Lifeguards in boats The announcement was nevertheless troubling for those who remember Fleishhacker's icy ocean water, scary high dives and lifeguards tooling around in rowboats. The remnants of the old bathhouse should be gone within six weeks, Ginsburg said, leaving only sand dunes, a spectacular view of the ocean and the whistling wind. Olympic gold medalist Johnny Weissmuller, better known as the actor who played Tarzan, swam in the pool. "In some unkind quarters, this is known as Mr. Fleishhacker's 'white elephant,' since its vast area ... is seldom filled - and besides the Pacific Ocean is only a few steps away," Caen wrote.
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