2006-03-03 / Columnists

The New Riis Park Baths- 1937
From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
From The Rockaway Museum
by Emil Lucev, Curator
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

Looking clean and orderly and well kept, plus being adequately staffed by service personnel (one of the good attributes of Robert Moses) the new Riis Park Baths, built by Moses and the Department of Parks of New York City, opened for the 1937 season. The new Riis Park was well attended for many years to come, and was taken over by the Gateway National Recreation Area in the 1960s.

The view reproduced today appeared on an old sepia toned postcard printed for mailing by visitors and bathers to friends and relatives.

A supervisor stands at the right side dressed with a blazer jacket. Two men in white uniforms consisting of short sleeve shirts plus a hat and tie are on each side, and also on each side are two men with the same white uniform, but without the hat and tie. What the significance of this uniform difference is unknown.

A sign at the rear of the open corridor reads “This way to the beach.” Another indicates comfort stations, and lastly a telephone booth sign!

Bathing suit wringers are spaced between the rows of bathhouses, as are litter receptacles. The way to the beach sign is on the left, so that makes south to the left, north to the right, west in the background, and east behind the camera. A sign above the wringer reads “To the beach” too!

The publisher of the card wasn’t sure where Riis Park was it seems! The park is noted at being located in Belle Harbor-Neponsit, Long Island!

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