Best Ruin in the Midst of a City San Francisco 2011 - Sutro Baths
Even in ruins, the Parthenon is one of Athens' most cherished tourist sites. Now, Sutro Baths ain't the Parthenon. And map-wielding, F-Line-clogging tourists don't often turn up in the west of the Athens of the West. Nevertheless, there's something reassuring about the city failing to place zillion-dollar condos on prime property and instead leaving the weathered foundation and aging relics of 19th-century glory. The grandeur of Sutro Baths — which was erected in 1896 and burned in 1966 when it was a crumbling ruin — remains, even though the edifice exists only in memory. It's a gorgeous, poignant place to visit (and, mark our words, a spectacular spot to bring out-of-towners). Which it certainly wouldn't be if it was condos.