At least five remnants of historic structures along the beaches of Del Mar

Re: Del Mar to preserve historic bathhouse pilings seldom seen by the community; April 4, 2013

There are at least five remnants of historic structures along the beaches of Del Mar. The most prominent of these is the ship-shaped natatorium at the foot of 10th Street. Built in 1885 by Jacob Shell Taylor as part of his Casa Del Mar resort, it was to protect the swimming guests from the dreaded sting ray. Parts of this remnant are visible almost year round.

The subject bathhouse, also built by Taylor in 1885, was a 3-story structure with the lower two floors being changing rooms for swimmers braving the dreaded sting rays, while the top floor was a dance pavilion. There was a road carved into the bluff from the end of 11th Street going north and down behind the bathhouse to allow horse and wagon access to the beach (the tracks were not on the bluffs then). These remnants are near the foot of the bluffs and visible every few winters after severe northwest storms.

Farther north there are the remnants of two cabanas built on the sand in front of what is now Powerhouse Park. Their origin and life is a mystery as they do not appear in any of our old photos dating back to the late 1880s. I have seen these only twice in the 30-some years I have been walking our beach.

The most mysterious and elusive remnant is just north of Anderson Canyon and below the Staver property in what is now Torrey Pines State Beach, again at the foot of the bluffs. It is only slightly smaller in area than the bathhouse. The only time I have seen this remnant was in February 2012.

If you have any questions, additions or corrections, please contact us at

Larry Brooks

Del Mar Historical Society