In the Old Days:
Arielle Haze views
Unpainting the Town:
Helen K. Garber photos
Art at the Rose Cafe'
New Venice Sign
BATH HOUSE or PLUNGE
On Ocean Front Walk (the Boardwalk) - the Bath House or Bathing Pavilion or Plunge. (Not to be confused with the other Bath House, at the end of Windward Avenue, on the Lagoon.) Surf Bathhouse was the first incarnation, in 1905. There was no pool, it was a facility for renting bathing suits and changing into them.
Then, there was a pool.
Before the inland side of Ocean Front Walk was developed
An almost identical but subtly different view, which appears to be later, but still, before much of anything was built on the east side of the boardwalk
The indoor plunge was built from brick with a steel girder roof and a pool that measured 100 by 150 feet. At the shallow end, the fountain spewed hot salt water so the pool wouldn't be chilly. The facility was introduced by a bizarre publicity stunt. Manager Jake Cox put on a full-body suit that appeared to be made of shag carpeting, set himself on fire, and dove from the rafters into the water.
In the 1910s, there were swimming exhibitions and competitions sponsored by the Athletic Club, the Ladies' Swimming Club, and others, that attracted up to 5,000 people. Lifeguards were heroic figures, but that applied more to the outside lifeguards who saved drowners from the actual ocean.
Later, a water polo team practiced daily here daily, and went to the 1936 Olympics where they got to shake hands with Adolf Hitler.
An unusual view, looking southward along Ocean Front Walk
Not sure of date, but the inland side of the boardwalk is now very built up.
This view is more or less looking northward
Also looking more or less northward, around 1920
View from a plane flying northward
A view of the commercial buildings near the Venice Pier and directly across from the Plunge. The red brick building later became the Sidewalk Cafe.
not sure why the color is so different.
© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman