Parks Department Readies New Public Bathrooms at ‘Stanton Storehouse’
Discussion over the fate of the Stanton Street storehouse inside Sara D. Roosevelt Park is back on the front burner. Its partial renovation to include new bathrooms is now underway.
Earlier this week, the Sara D. Roosevelt Coalition announced intentions to rally on the proverbial doorstep tomorrow in order to demand the return of the Parks Department facility to community use. (It was later rescheduled.) These new toilets are only part of the overall equation.
And the plan is two years in the making. Thanks to an allocation of $1 million in city funding sponsored by Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in 2017, the city will reconfigure the west wing of the brick structure.
Plans call for the conversion of the window arches into entrances, installation of an ADA ramp, and additional LED security lighting (warm tones) around the premises. Design of the comfort station takes cues from Parks’ current administration facility down at Hester Street.
Both the boys and girls rooms will only boast two fixtures apiece, the latter with stalls and the former with one stall and one urinal. The windows are not operable (i.e. don’t open), and there is a ventilation system planned for the rooftop. The limited facilities and lack of open space inside are altogether intentional, so as to deter drug dealing and area homeless from squatting.
The Stanton storehouse – at one point a youth center – was seized by the government more than three decades ago. Its current function remains Parks Department storage for all Manhattan Parks, and de-facto parking lot for city vehicles. Since 1994, though, the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition has fought to reactivate this structure for local accessibility. Most recently, a pitch for use as an active recreational center. Then in 1998 – the city promised to return the brick box to the community, but nothing happened.