City to Release RFP for Allen Street Mall Bathhouse Conversion

Posted on: January 29th, 2016 at 9:31 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

The stout brick building sits in the Allen Street Mall, a deteriorating reminder of a nearly-forgotten past. The bathhouse dates back to the 1930s, and was originally constructed to service passengers on the Second Avenue El. These public restrooms had a short life, and went dark in the early 1950s after the elevated tracks were removed. It’s been a derelict vacancy ever since.

The Beaux-arts style structure was basically left for dead until relatively recently. Indeed, every few years, the community talks about repurposing the space for public benefit. The last such discussion was back in 2012 when the Hester Street Collaborative joined Asian Americans for Equality to repurpose the building for a “community center.” The Parks Department and the now-defunct Lower Manhattan Development Corporation forked over $2 million as part of the overall Allen Street Mall beautification project. That sum has been waiting to be tapped; apparently an additional $2.2 million (or thereabouts) is needed to complete the project.

This image has been archived or removed.

The Bathhouse in 1934, Photo: NYPL

Now time to revisit, as the city is again looking to restore the Allen Street bathhouse and restore its function as amenity with purpose. The city plans to issue a “Request for Proposal” to transform the so-called comfort station (euphemism for public toilet) into a a “food service facility.” Sounds like a concession stand operation. The call-to-action seeks partners to renovate, operate, and maintain the rehabilitated facility.

The bathhouse RFP is up for public discussion next month at the Parks subcommittee meeting for Community Board 3. We’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, here are some photos of the interior from a few years ago. It probably looks worse now…

This gallery has been removed.

Recent Stories

This is the Car Horn Every Pedestrian Needs [VIDEO]

In a world driven by technology, here’s a welcomed, albeit impractical, analog solution to a maddening pedestrian problem. We’ve all had to deal with it at one point or another. An indecisive three-wide, ambling past a restaurant. Sidewalk selfie snappers. Tourists in herd formation. iZombies. Children walking irrationally. There’s only so many times you can […]

Cherry Street Hockey Rink Resurfaced with Turf Field

Street hockey players in the city, but the Lower East Side especially, are now short-handed. The ever-reliable Tanahey Playground rink on Cherry Street is officially gone. The city removed the rotting boards and benches last week, and completed carpeting the concrete with AstroTurf. As first reported last summer, the space was repurposed to accommodate organized […]

How One LES Block is Losing Because of Ongoing MTA Work

As the MTA continues its infrastructure work outside Sara D. Roosevelt Park, the surrounding community continues to bear the brunt. As we’ve been reporting, the job is to replace the outdated subway ventilation plant fifteen beneath the roadbed at Forsyth and Delancey Streets. Already in the works for three years, installation of this new Emergency […]

‘Good Luck’ Runs out for Orchard Street Massage Parlor, Busted for Prostitution

It appears the Good Luck Spa on Orchard Street ran afoul of the law. Shuttered by court order due to alleged prostitution. (And therefore perpetuating the stereotype of illicit Chinatown massage parlors.) The business, which relocated here from Grand Street four years ago, was ordered closed by court order last Thursday. Stickers on the drawn […]

Report: Notorious Landlord Michael Shah Arrested Twice for Allegedly Assaulting Girlfriend then Violating Protection Order

Notorious landlord and developer Michael Shah, whose properties and bars dot the Lower East Side, was twice arrested this fall regarding the alleged assault of his model girlfriend. The news comes to light in a New York Post article that focuses more on Shah’s recent filing of a complaint related to a summertime “attack” in […]