Nazzaro Community Center Study Report
The Nazzaro Community Center (previously called either the North Bennet Street Public Bath House and Gymnasium or the North End Bath House) was constructed in 1906-1908 and opened in 1910. Designed in 1903 by the Boston-based architectural firm of Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan, the building 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. New public health policies mandated around the United States sought to address the effects of industrialization, urbanization, and poverty by providing public access to bathing and recreational facilities.
Situated in the heart of the North End section of Boston, the North Bennet Street Public Bath House and Gymnasium with the adjacent Polcari Park at 45 Prince St. (established in 1897 as Prince Street Playground) served the area’s growing immigrant population in the early 20th century. The bathhouse underwent minor renovations and maintenance in the 1940s in response to community members' continual complaints of the facility’s poor conditions.
The bathhouse operated until the 1970s when it was officially closed, having fallen into a state of neglect. In 1985, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) acquired the building and reopened it as the Nazzaro Community Center.
(Report amended as of August 9, 2023)
The proposed designation will be discussed and voted upon at a public hearing on September 12, 2023. Please look for the meeting notice in the public notices section of our website.
- Last updated:
- Published by: Landmarks Commission