The China Beach bathhouse seen above has not been renovated since it opened in 1957, and it shows. The structure is coated with rust and graffiti and has no running water because it’s been closed and padlocked for nearly five years. Yes, there are “bathrooms,” which are separate porta-potties at the top of a not-at-all ADA-accessible hill. It’s a far cry from the private showers and heated locker rooms that made the bathhouse a gem for swimmers and fishers in the late 1950s.
The decaying China Beach bathhouse has been completely shut down since its water system failed in 2016. But not for much longer: The bathhouse is due for a makeover starting next year, the first since it was built in 1957. https://t.co/kzwbMCUHB3— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) December 23, 2021
But that bathhouse is getting a $20 million upgrade in 2022, according to the Chronicle. The upgrade, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's 50th anniversary, will offer running toilets and showers, ADA accessibility, with a fresh coat of paint, and an upgraded picnic area.
The renovation will begin with a rebuilding of the retaining walls that surround the building. Next up will be ADA accessibility improvements to the parking lot, and finally, indoor washrooms, private changing booths, and showers. It’s expected the project will be completed by 2023, at which point the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Ocean Rescue Patrol will move in and make the place its new headquarters.
The renovated structure will not be as luxurious as it was in the '50s. The locker rooms will not be heated, and the showers won’t have hot water.
But that’s unlikely to bother Pacific Ocean swimmers.
“Even water that you think of as cold is warm when you get out of the ocean,” Vice President for Park Places and Innovation at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Claire Mooney told the Chronicle.