Renovations Full Throttle at Stanton Storehouse for New Public Toilets
The return of the Stanton Storehouse to community use is well underway, albeit gradually. Current project at hand is the installation of a so-called “comfort station” in the west side of the building in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
(Also known as toilets, to the layperson.)
Two of the window archways are pierced and assorted renovations afoot. When the capital endeavor wraps – slated for winter 2020 – there will be bathrooms for men and women. Both will 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 (rampant in this park) and area homeless from squatting.
This conversion project 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 can reconfigure this section of the brick structure.
The Stanton Storehouse – at one point a youth center – was seized by the city 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. The city promised to return the brick box to the community over the years, but nothing happened.
Back in November, the Chief of Staff for Councilwoman Margaret Chin, former Community Board 3 Chair Gigi Li, told the Parks subcommittee that the city is now (allegedly) committed to returning the Stanton Storehouse to the community.
Believe it when you see it.