Stanton Parkhouse Bathrooms will Open by End of Month
And so begins the long road back for the Stanton Storehouse. Decades displaced from community hands, the facility partially reverts to neighborhood use this month with the debut of public bathrooms.
With such a grand entrance, the proverbial throne inside the building teases.
Behind those fresh cut archways are bathrooms for men and women, each boasting two fixtures, 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 on 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.
Word on the street is that the toilets will open by the end of this month.
This conversion project took three years from conception to completion. 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 reconfigured 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.