5 Rutgers Place Public Bath
The 5 Rutgers Place bathhouse is currently surrounded by the 1,100-apartment LaGuardia Houses NYC Housing Authority complex that was completed in 1957. This complex is just to the East of the Manhattan bridge and South of East Broadway. As with the Rivington Street building, the building of the housing complex resulted in the demolition of the surrounding tenements and street grid, removing Rutgers Place from the map and isolating this building. The complex is bounded by the current Rutgers, Madison, Clinton and Cherry streets. Also as with Rivington Street, the building is abandoned and was probably bricked in during the mid 1970's financial crisis.
A young resident of the complex noticed me taking photos and asked whether I was with the city and what was going to happen to the building. When I responding that I was just taking photos for my website, he expressed his opinion that the building was a blight and should either be torn down or renovated for use by the community. I mentioned that I shared his opinion and would convey it here. But until we elect civic leaders with a more progressive attitude towards the renovation and development of urban infrastructure, this relic may retain its funereal, pallid charm for some time to come.
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