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The Rockaway Times
119-15 Rockaway Beach Blvd
Rockaway Park, NY 11694
tel-718-634-3211 fax-718-634-0926
Office hours: Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm,
but our neighbors
Sat 9am-2pm
Ka�e Cusmiani Ten Eyck, PT DPT
Now in network and accep�ng Cigna and GHI.
Inside Look at the Riis Park Bathhouse
By Katie McFadden
The historic Riis Park Bath-
house, the old red brick
Art Deco building with the
recognizable twin octagonal
towers on top, has long gone
underutilized, but that may
change soon. A lot work of
has been going on to clean
up the mess that years of ne-
glect and Hurricane Sandy
left behind and the National
Park Service is looking to put
the historic building to new
use, so the Rockaway Times
recently took a tour of this
iconic site.
The Riis Park Bathhouse,
listed on the National Regis-
ter of Historic Places, has long
been an icon along the board-
walk of “the people’s beach.”
It was designed between
1930-31 by architect John L.
Plock and construction be-
gan in 1932. The project was
budgeted at $425,000, but it
wound up costing $530,000.
Construction wasn’t official-
ly completed until 1933, but
the building was officially
dedicated on August 6, 1932,
so it celebrates its unofficial
84th anniversary this week-
end. When it was completed,
the building contained 8,100
men’s and women’s lockers,
washrooms, a medical clin-
ic, a glass cover sun room,
two restaurants and a cafete-
ria, plus a concession to rent
chairs and umbrellas. When
Robert Moses took over the
New York City Department
of Parks and Recreation, Riis
Park, and the bathhouse, fell
under Parks Department ju-
risdiction and the area was
further developed with the
goal of replicating Moses’
Jones Beach State Park. It
wasn’t until 1974 that the Na-
tional Park Service took over
with the establishment of the
Gateway National Recreation
Due to deterioration, the
Bathhouse has gone un-
derutilized, with the excep-
tion of serving as a headquar-
ters for the federal lifeguards.
Attempts were made to ren-
ovate the 40,000 square-foot
Bathhouse in the 1990s. Close
to $20 million went towards
asbestos removal, electrical
upgrades, window replace-
ments, new elevators and
facade work but the fund-
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