San Francisco is known for many things, but ice skating is not necessarily one of them. During the holidays, “pop-up” ice rinks appear at Union Square and the Embarcadero Center. And there is one permanent rink at Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center in downtown.
During the 1960s, there were five permanent ice rinks within the City limits: The San Francisco Ice Arena on 48th Avenue; Legg’s School of Ice Skating, first on Ocean Avenue, then starting in 1960 at the Jack Tar Hotel, then a rink on 11th Street near Market; and Sutro’s, opened in 1896 as a series of “baths” or swimming pools at Lands End near Ocean Beach. One pool was transformed into an ice skating rink in 1937. Sadly, the entire Sutro’s complex burned to the ground in 1966.
For a fun look back at Sutro’s, including the rink, here is a clip from, “The Line Up,” a television police drama airing on CBS from 1954 to 1960. In 1958, the police were chasing the bad guys through the interior of Sutro’s:
The 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Sochi, Russia is this Friday, February 7. In 1968, Peggy Fleming won the gold medal for figure skating in Grenoble, France. She lived in San Francisco following her Olympic win and still lives with her family in the south bay. Here she is with her winning performance:
The ice skating competitions begin on Sunday, February 9. The complete schedule of events, from February 7 through the closing ceremony on Sunday, February 23, is at: http://www.sochi2014.com/en