Monday, September 30, 2013

Anniversary of San Francisco's Aquatic Park

(by Edward LeBlanc, Archives Specialist)

Dedication of Aquatic Park in 1939 from the Living New Deal website

January 22, 2014 is the 75th anniversary of the dedication of Aquatic Park.  On that day in 1939, the Works Progress Administration formally turned over Aquatic Park to the City of San Francisco in an extravagant public celebration, despite the unfinished Bathhouse and the many proposed structures throughout the Park that were never built. Still, thousands flocked to Aquatic Park to hear speeches and tour the Bathhouse. 

Originally proposed as a public space, the Bathhouse was leased by the City to private concessionaires and became the Aquatic Park Casino, a private restaurant and bar. By 1941 the Bathhouse was taken over by the U.S. military in support of World War II. It became a maritime museum in 1951.

Source: Pioneers, politics, progressand planning: the story of San Francisco’s Aquatic Park by James P. Delgado, Park Historian, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, January 1981.

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