Many visitors to San Francisco’s western neighborhoods enjoy the sweeping ocean view from above the ruins of the Sutro Baths. But, it’s pretty windy out there, which makes it difficult to enjoy at times. That is part of the reason for the new visitors center that opened there over the weekend. Catherine Barner is Vice President of Projects and Stewardship for the Golden Gate Parks National Conservancy.
She says the building is not a traditional park service visitor center. “We wanted something that would draw you in, you could get oriented, find out what there is to do. Or if you are already oriented, you could get some coffee or something to eat, and then go out again,” explains Barner.
The new structure cost $4.5 million to build. It’s forty-one hundred square feet, made of glass and recycled wood, because the planners wanted the inside to feel like the outside. It features a gift shop, a small café, as well as photos and activities featuring the cultural and natural history of the area.
And, it provides a welcome break from that steady on-shore wind.