Crumbling LES Bathhouse To Be Replaced With Playing Field

The Patch: An abandoned community center at-risk of collapse will be demolished soon and replaced with a field, the Parks Department said.

The LaGuardia Bathhouse, closed since the 1970s, was quietly determined to be unstable and at-risk of collapse back in mid-December. Since then, Mayor Bill de Blasio has allocated funds to demolish the Parks-owned building to replace it with a synthetic turf field, Parks said.

"The safety of New Yorkers is paramount, and the Mayor has allocated funding for the immediate demolition of the bathhouse and the clearing of the site," said Parks spokesperson Crystal Howard.

The news comes in the midst of community outrage that the East River Park will be bulldozed and closed for construction to protect the east side from coastal flooding. Parks had previously told community members and City Council it was working on a mitigation plan for recreation space for the community and is now eyeing the old bathhouse as an alternate open space.

"The demolition is an opportunity for us to start to provide alternate locations to the community for recreational use during the reconstruction of East River Park," Howard said, noting the turf is an immediate response for open-space needs — especially during the East River Park closure under the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. She added the department would work with community stakeholders for a long-term plan for the site. READ MORE>>