West 9th Street Baths

in Bathhouses and Spas

The West 9th Street Club Baths, a gay men’s bathhouse, opened at 1293 West 9th Street in the early 1970s. The West 9th Street Club baths were part of the national Club Baths Chain founded in Cleveland by Jack Campbell. The West 9th Street Baths operated as a private, men-only gay bathhouse. Originally a single-story bathhouse, the West 9th Street Baths underwent extensive renovations under manager Charles Fleck in 1976. The expanded West 9th Street Baths included the renovation of two additional floors and the addition of “a gym, a soundproof music room where [customers] could select the music of [their] choice”, a “new lounge” containing a “50-inch TV screen,” “new rooms with double-beds and dimmer lights, a snack bar,” and live entertainment. Lounges were available throughout the Baths’ three floors. Inside, private lockers and rooms were available for patrons to rent. Other amenities included “lush, wall-to-wall carpeting,” shower rooms with jet-propelled whirlpool baths, “exercise rooms with weight training equipment, both a wet and dry steam sauna,” and a variety of “entertaining movies.” The West 9th Street Club Baths later reopened as the Flex Cleveland bathhouse.

Western Reserve Historical Society.

Additional information coming soon.

Resources

  • “A Bathhouse is More Than Sex.” Gay People’s Chronicle. September 10, 1999. Page 6.
  • Avery, Don. “New Ninth Street Baths.” High Gear. March 1976. Page 14.
  • Damron, Bob. “…And Doing Cleveland…” High Gear. October 1978. Page 7.
  • Juszczyk, Jerry. “My First Trip to the Baths.” High Gear. August 1976. Page 23.
  • “New Ninth Street Baths.” High Gear. March 1976. Page 14.
  • Nosek, John, and Leon Stevens. “Gay Community 1970s.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
  • Ross, Aaron. “The Baths.” High Gear. November 1976. Page 16.
  • Schneck, Ken. LGBTQ Cleveland. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2018. Page 34.
  • Shamu. “Cruisin’ and Boozin’ with Shamu.” Gay People’s Chronicle. November 1981. Page 19.
1293 W. 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44113 (West 9th Street Baths).

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