Scattered around town are reminders of a time when hot water wasn’t necessarily a given, and there had to be an alternative to bathing in cold water. The city built a series of public bathhouses in the early 20th Century to address this need, and Brooklyn was given five.
This one, on Huron Street near Manhattan Avenue (a very eclectic block, actually), retains just about all of its original exterior appearance. The architects were inspired by the Roman Empire baths of long ago and constructed Ionic columns (these are actually pilasters, or half columns) and chiseled lettering with the traditional V instead of U. As the date indicates, it opened in 1903 and eventually averaged 1000 bathers per day. By mid-century hot water was almost universal in apartment buildings, and the bathhouse closed — it’s amazing it’s still there, and it’s now bordered by large, bulky metallic-panelled buildings that really set it off.