Tony Dapolito Recreation Center
(formerly the Carmine Street
Recreation Center) at the intersection of Carmine Street, 7th Avenue South,
Clarkson Street, and Varick Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, adjacent
to James J. Walker Park. Photo: April 23, 2018.
The recreation center was designed by the architectural firm Renwick,
Aspinwall and Tucker and opened in 1908, serving primarily as a public
bathhouse with bathubs and showers on the first two floors, plus a gym and
some classrooms. An indoor pool was added in 1920. In 1938 all bathhouses
in New York City came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks.
This one and eight others were renovated by the Works Progress
Administration (WPA) to "increase the play and swimming pool facilities
by modernizing the present antiquated fixtures and layout".
Furthermore an outdoor pool was designed by New Deal architect Aymar
Embury II, built with WPA labor, and opened in 1939[2,3,4]. In
2004 the recreation center was renamed in memory of Greenwich Village
resident and activist Tony Dapolito. Keith Haring painted
the mural on the wall adjacent to the pool in 1987; it is known as the
Carmine Street Mural.
- NYC Parks Department Press
Release, March 10, 1938: Renovation of nine bathhouses, including the
one at 81-85 Carmine Street. "There will be a considerable amount of work
on all these facilities in modernizing and repairing the mechanical,
purification and filtration equipment, and repairing and installing piping,
heating and ventilating equipment, all of which will be done by
- Parks Department Press
Release, June 10, 1939, announcing an opening ceremony of "a new outdoor
swimming pool in Hudson Park". Included among the honorees was Alexander
MacGregor of the Works Progress Administration. "The adjacent
bath building, transferred from the Borough President of Manhattan under
the new City Charter, has been completely renovated to provide
increased recreational facilities. Besides containing men and women's locker
and shower rooms and comfort stations, it also houses on the second floor a
large gymnasium and large play room. On the mezzanine floor there is a
running track, while on the roof of the building there is a large fenced-in
play area." NOTE: This press release also announces the opening of two
other renovated and modernized public bath buildings: one at 232 West 60th
Street and 35 West 134th Street. "The work in connection with these
improvements was planned by the Department of Parks and performed by the
Works Progress Administration."
Dapolito Recreation Center, NYC Department of Parks website,
accessed 24 April 2018.
Splash of Summer, Off the Grid, Greenwich
Village Society for Historic Preservation, 29 August 2013.
Cool off at the Tony Dapolito Center, Off the Grid, Greenwich
Village Society for Historic Preservation, 9 July 2012 (has a photo of
Dapolito and of the pool with water in it).