Boston: Nazzaro Community Center Study Report

~ The Nazzaro Community Center, formerly known as the North Bennet Street Public Bath House and Gymnasium or the North End Bath House, is a potential landmark designation in Boston. The building was constructed in 1906-1908 and opened in 1910, designed by the Boston-based architectural firm of Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan. It is an exceptional example of early 20th-century Beaux-Arts Renaissance Revival Style architecture with its detailed ornamentation indicative of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The City of Boston constructed the building as one of 12 municipally run bathhouses in response to a public health policy implemented in 1895. This policy sought to address the effects of industrialization, urbanization, and poverty by providing public access to bathing and recreational facilities. The bathhouse was situated in the heart of the North End section of Boston, adjacent to Polcari Park at 45 Prince St., which was established in 1897 as Prince Street Playground.

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The bathhouse underwent minor renovations and maintenance in the 1940s due to community members' continual complaints about its poor conditions. However, it eventually fell into a state of neglect and was officially closed in the 1970s. In 1985, it was acquired by the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) who reopened it as the Nazzaro Community Center.

Now, there is a potential landmark designation for this historic building. Written feedback can be provided through a feedback form on their website while there will also be a public hearing on June 27th 2023 where members of the public are invited to attend and provide comments there as well.

The Nazzaro Community Center stands as an important reminder of Boston's history and its potential landmark designation will ensure that this piece of history is preserved for generations to come.

Filed Under: Government, City

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