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Thread: Chicago Russian Turkish steambath

  1. #1
    Senior Member ghettoside's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    At Large in the US

    Chicago Russian Turkish steambath

    A bud was talking about saunas the other day and I thought of a place I used to frequent years ago, Division Street Russian & Turkish Baths.

    They used to have a pool of ice water w/ floating blocks of ice in it... caution sign warning folks w/ heart conditions to not use... I'd get baked in the steamer on the 3rd level, then step out and jump into the ice pool. It was a rush! It opens all your pores. I'd come out of there w/ baby like skin. The next morning I'd have to clear a bunch of yellow stuff out of my eyes, toxins even come out of yer eyeballz!

    Eventually they changed to ice cold chemically treated water, scientists found some kind of bacteria or something that could live in the ice water, so the steamhouse went to the chemical pool. I dunno, the floating ice was cool.

    They used to have a bunch of beds that you can nap on (upstairs), and a bar/grill that served decent food and drink.

    I haven't been there in ages.

    The best part is the steam. It feels great.

    I'm curious about the co-ed baths...

    I guess I'm going in the near future, lol.

    last time I checked there were only 2 other true Russian baths in the US, one in NY and the other LA.


    The most popular feature at Division Bath is the traditional Russian Banya or hot room. These rooms (one on either side) are built of concrete and tile with glass doors. In a corner of each is a brick oven in which granite boulders, approximately the size of watermelons, are heated to extreme temperatures by gas jets; hot water is then thrown on the rocks by the customers as desired. When this happens, the water instantly evaporates, creating steam inside the oven and heating the brick enclosure, thereby raising the air temperature in the room. This method provides a much dryer heat than common steam rooms. The bathers sit or lay on three-level tiered wooden benches, which allow for dramatically different temperatures at the various heights. Cold water is provided by taps located under the benches - when overwhelmed by the heat, a bather may dump a bucket of frigid water over his head while still in the hot room, or may step outside to use the cold pools.
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  2. #2
    Conspiracy Fool knightmare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    checked the site out.., about a hour later I took a steaming hot shower, hotter than usual. Really does relax the body. I can only imagine what one of those steam baths would do.
    “"A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."”

    Bruce Lee

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