Bathhouse and Gas Company Building Are Named Landmarks

A former public bathhouse in Midtown Manhattan and the former headquarters of the Brooklyn Union Gas Company in Downtown Brooklyn have been designated as landmarks, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission announced on Tuesday.

The East 54th Street Bath and Gymnasium, at 342-348 East 54th Street in Manhattan, was one of 13 free indoor public baths that the city built between 1901 and 1914 as part of a public health campaign aimed at residents of tenement buildings without baths or showers, the commission said. It included 79 showers for men and 59 for women, as well as a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a track and a roof playground. The three-story building stopped operating as a free bathhouse in the 1930s and is now a community and recreation center run by the Parks Department.

The Brooklyn Union Gas Company building, at 176 Remsen Street, is now part of St. Francis College. The eight-story building was part of “a new wave of development in Downtown Brooklyn following the consolidation of Greater New York in 1898,” according to the commission.

“This stately building is a reminder of a company that literally fueled the growth of a newly expanded City in the first decades of the 20th century, and recalls a time when Downtown Brooklyn was establishing itself as a major urban center,” the commission’s chairman, Robert B. Tierney, said in a statement.

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