Recreation Center 54
E. 54 St. bet. 1 Ave. and 2 Ave.
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The East 54th Street Recreation Center opened on Feb. 17, 1911, with 79 showers for men and 59 for women. Built during an era of socially progressive initiatives, the center’s original purpose was to provide sanitary facilities for the city’s working classes. Although the four-story, neo-classical building is not a designated landmark, much of its original character and history remains. The basketball court and jogging track are connected by two wrought ironwork spiral staircases, and the Guastavino tile, vaulted ceiling in the gymnasium, and the lobby ceiling are indicative of the architecture of the time. Marble walls in the locker rooms hearken back to the original marble baths.