Aquatic Park Historic District

Also known as: Aquatic Park
Bounded by Van Ness Ave., Hyde and Polk Sts., San Francisco, California


Aquatic Park Bathhouse

Photo HABS/HAER, courtesy Library of Congress



Street View 


Aquatic Park, developed from 1936 to 1939, was one of California's largest Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects reflecting President Franklin D. Roosevelt's policy of providing employment to architects and artists during the Great Depression. The centerpiece of this group of "streamline moderne" structures, all employing nautical metaphors, is a multipurpose structure containing the bathhouse, concession stand and lounge. Its rounded walls, recessed upper stories, tubular steel railings and porthole windows were purposely designed to create the illusion of an ocean liner. Murals and other artwork carry out the nautical theme. This main building, lifeguard stations, stadium, Sea Scout building, a seawall and a semicircular pier form the Aquatic Park Historic District, now part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, May 28, 1987

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 26, 1984
Reference number
Architectural style
Modern Movement: Moderne
Areas of significance
Community Planning and Development; Art; Military; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Museum; Restaurant; Civic
Current functions
Museum; Park
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3
Contributing structures: 5

Update Log 

  • April 3, 2019: New photo from Richard Doody
  • January 12, 2017: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger