Information about this lot
Why is this lot here?
We think this lot is vacant because:
- The lot was added manually by site admins.
You can use this form to suggest uses that the community actually wants to see as concessions in this building:
NYC Parks will consider your fantastic ideas and you should also share them as notes below and become an Organizer so you can connect with others to make the futures we imagine real! Keep in mind that NYC Parks isn't going to do your project for you.
Opening buildings costs money and NYC Parks' has a limited budget. Here is a great guide to how to get money for your NYC Parks building stewardship project, created by the Center for Urban Pedagogy, New Yorkers for Parks and Partnerships for Parks: http://welcometocup.org/file_columns/0000/0613/improve_my_park.pdf. Follow the tips for "Capital Projects."
Getting your Council Member on board is key: they have money to give out every year via their discretionary budget; some Members allocate some of their discretionary money to Participatory Budgeting: https://council.nyc.gov/pb/. You can get involved to get the word out about the need to re-activate the building you want to steward.
The building might be landmarked. If it is, any work will need to comply with these rules: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/lpc/applications/applications.page
Th LO-DOWN used our photo in article about NYC Parks' lack of communication about the status of their closed-off buildings on the Lower East Side: http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2016/11/council-member-mendez-vents-at-parks-department-over-lack-of-community-engagement.html
2 LES Park Bathrooms will Reopen to Public After 15 Years of Dormancy
Posted on: November 14th, 2016 at 9:36 am
Two park bathrooms on the Lower East Side will reopen to the public next summer, it was revealed last week. Both have been inaccessible to locals for the last fifteen years. Parks Department announced the news on Thursday evening during the Community Board 3 meeting of the Parks subcommittee.
First up is the historic (and photogenic) “comfort station” in Corlears Hook Park (where the word hooker was born). Erected in 1940, the building hasn’t served the public in fifteen years. That all changes in the coming months when the city plans to renovate and return the facility to its founding function. Goal of the $1.42 million project (funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp) is to create separate male and female loos with two “fixtures” apiece (i.e. toilets), remove roll-down gates, spruce up the exterior, add a drinking fountain, and install new plumbing and HVAC mechanicals. Timetable is to complete the design in early 2017, send it out to bid, and wrap it up next summer.
(Regarding coastal resiliency, the park itself is in the flood zone but the structure is above the plain.)
As it stands, the Corlears bathhouse is currently the citywide headquarters for the Parks Enforcement Patrol, a source of contention for locals who are sick of the administration nabbing Lower East Side parkhouses from the community (see also the “Stanton Building” in Sara D. Roosevelt). They will remain here post-remodeling, since personnel was apparently booted from Battery Park.
The other park in question is Baruch Playground, located a few blocks north. Here, the $1.2 million plan is nearly identical – bring the building up to code by making it ADA-accessible, installing plumbing and HVAC, repairing the masonry, adding a drinking fountain, and fixing the battered roof. But most importantly, the elevation will be lifted to twelve feet, which is just above the flood plain. None of the other park elements will be updated as part of this initiative.
There were also questions about the feasibility of gender-neutral bathrooms in the parks. Especially given Mayor de Blasio’s “gender neutral bathroom law.” But that conversation ran into a dead end.
The Parks Department last week presented designs for Baruch playground comfort station building at CB3 Parks meeting
Community Board 3's 2017 District Needs statement (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb3/downloads/cb3docs/fy_2017_needs_statement.pdf) included this, on page 12:
Toilets in CB 3 parks, recreational fields, playgrounds and park buildings with park programming are badly needed. Funding is still needed for comfort stations in other parks throughout the district such as Baruch Playground....