35 West 134th Street Public Bath
A city web site lists construction on this building as beginning in 1907 and ending in 1925. Williams' book lists this bath as opening in the late 1920s, which would make it the last of the municipal buildings built with a significant public bath component. The public bath movement had essentially ended in 1915 and the anomalous construction of public baths in Harlem a decade later may be a testament to delays in social services and the persistence of social ills in this segregated community. The natatorium is particularly attractive with a magnificent skylight and elegant mosaic tiling around the pool. When I visited the site was the J. Rozier Hansborough Recreation Center and although I was unable to find any web references to Hansborough, I assumed that he was a significant Harlem civic leader.
Next: 138th Street at 5th Avenue Public Bath