Seaside History

A Glimpse of the Turnaround: Circa 1940

May 15, 2013 | by Nate Burke

The turnaround, pictured here in on a fabulous spring day in 1940, was hopping with crowds of visitors on what looks to be another day in paradise. The variance in layers of clothing appears similar to today (one woman in a bathing suit yet another in a full-length coat) and one can almost smell the fresh-popped popcorn located in the tiny structure on the right side of the frame. The landscape was a bit different back then, with a bevy of smaller business peppering the southwest corner just off of the promenade. The Oates Baths natatorium (an indoor saltwater pool) was located here and served as a gathering place to indulge in a huge pool and ladies and gents steam baths. This hothouse served as a warm, pleasurable sanctuary for swimmers during the winter. The large Aquarium sign points the way north to the Seaside Aquarium just off the prom.

Later, this spot was widely known as the Turnaround Building and became a popular spot for dancing, roller-skating, and various events. The American Legion post was also located here in the same building. Nowadays, you’ll find the turnaround is the same gathering place for folks to sit and gaze out at the ocean. It also serves as the perfect vantage point for watching one of the many events that take place on Seaside’s beach, and cruising in your car never seems to fall out of fashion either. The Turnaround Building was demolished in 1967 to make way for future developments, but it had a good long run and played its part in creating the energetic oceanfront we find there today.

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