If you wander up the Allen Street pedestrian mall until you reach Delancey, you’ll come face-to-face with a beautiful yet deserted relic from the city’s past: the Allen Street Bathhouse. Built in the 1930s in the Beaux-Arts style, the public restrooms were once used by riders of the elevated Second Avenue El railway until the building was shuttered in the early 1950s. Fortunately, however, the historic bathhouse won’t be going the way of the wrecking ball—the city has hopes to transform the building into a “food service facility.”
Flanked by bicycle lanes and facing south, the Allen Street Bathhouse occupies a prime spot between East Houston and Canal Streets. While decades of neglect have left the building in a state of disrepair, the interior does appear salvageable as seen in a Bowery Boogie’s tour of the bathhouse in 2013. According to Bowery Boogie, the community has actually tried to repurpose the space in the past for a community project, with the latest discussion dating back to 2012.
Now, the city is once again hoping to renovate the Allen Street Bathhouse. The city plans to submit a “Request for Proposal” in search of partners willing to renovate the building into a “food service facility” and follow through on operation and maintenance. The Parks subcommittee meeting for Community Board 3 will be held sometime this month to discuss the bathhouse RFP.
Via Bowery Boogie
Images via Google Street View