8. Vestiges of an Old Bathhouse Can Be Found in the Lower East Side

The former Allen Street Bath on the Lower East Side

During the mid-to-late 19th century, public health and sanitation in New York City had become a growing concern. By this time, the city’s burgeoning population had reached 1.4 million, leaving many residents without access to adequate sanitation facilities like toilets and bathrooms. To help combat the problem, public bathhouses were constructed around New York City.

The Allen Street Bath was the last remaining public bathhouse until it closed during New York City’s financial crisis in the 1970’s. Today, it houses the Church of Grace to Fujianese, a Chinese congregation in the Lower East Side. However, the elaborate facade of the building, which includes water-theme ornamentation, still remains intact. See more vintage photos of New York City’s public baths here.