Graffiti ruin at Lands End (next to dead whale) : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

What is the concrete structure that is painted with blue graffiti, close to the Lands End Nude Beach? It must have slid downhill, and looks like some kind of restroom, but is too large for that. Next to it is the gray whale that washed up April 5.

Please email me with ideas.

-- Shirley Chao (, April 16, 2000


I was told by a volunteer at the visitors center that the structure is a bathroom for the old sutro railroad or the military. The inside is nicely done with decorated tile so we thought that it's probibly not military and must be sutro's work. This is only a theory though.

-- Robert Jancula (, April 16, 2000.

This building is indeed an old restroom and probably dates from the 1920s. It is identical to other restrooms constructed by the City Park & Recreation Department that are still in use at Golden Gate Park and the Zoo. The building apparently once stood alongside the streetcar right-of-way close to Lincoln Park but has slid down the hillside over the years. (When I first saw it in the mid-1960s the building was at least 50 feet further uphill, maybe more.)

-- John Martini (, April 18, 2000.

I was the Cliff House Visitor Center volunteer...

To add a tidbit: The structure was contracted by the S.F. Board of Park Commissioners to DeLuca & Son in 1935.Called a "Convenience Station" it had a septic tank. It was close to the refreshment stand run by the Harris couple from 1906 to 1941, until their house was demolished in 1941. Then Lands End became a rubbish dump...

-- Wolfgang Schubert (, April 21, 2000.

I was always fascinated by the structure at Lands End. I do not really have an anaswer to what it is but I also theorize that it was too nice to be built by the military. It is a defenite bathroom and it does have a nice tile detail.

Im wondering who could know more about it ?

-- N Shebalin (, January 03, 2005.

I'm still researching the Land's End area and am getting closer to an answer on this little building. As Wolfgang notes, it was a convenience station built by the city's Park & Rec Department in 1935. However, it stood much closer to the beach than I previously stated. Aerial photos from the late '30s show it was located about halfway between the old streetcar right-of-way and the beach.

It appears that the City embarked on a major redevelopment of Land's End in the early and mid-1930s, probably both to combat the erosion and landslides in the area and also as "make-work" projects that provided jobs to the unemployed during the Great Depression. Improvements carried out at this time included trail construction, tree plantings, beach access to Land's End beach, and the comfort station.

I'm hoping the old minutes of the Park Commissioners' meetings will hold more info on these projects.

-- John Martini (, January 04, 2005.

Interesting, I had always wondered where the street car line had gone and when they yanked it out. I also wonder where i can see aerial photos of the area. Ive been fascinated by "the Broken House" since I was a kid. Back then it was an intact building sans roof that sat lopsided on the hillside over the beach.

-- N Shebalin (, January 04, 2005.

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