Monday, October 18, 2010

☞ REVIVE: Mt. Morris Turkish Baths For Rent

The Mount Morris Turkish Baths at the south corner of Madison and 125th Street is finally up for lease. A sign that hangs on the building states "men only" and one can see an arched entrance at the sub-level of the cellar commercial space which was a sauna opened by doctors in the area during the early 1890's.  An article in the New York Times from 2003 reports that the baths became a gay establishment in the 1930's but had in recent years became just "a meeting place" for men before it shut down permanently: LINK.

The owner, who's wife has had the establishment in the family since the early 1900's, lives upstate and is apparently trying to lease out the 5,000 square foot iconic gay Harlem institution (click lower photo to enlarge).  In our opinion, this would really be a great place for an actual gay bar or speakeasy in this part of town since they all disappeared a long time ago. It just needs some updating and someone to paint that "S" properly under the aforementioned arched entrance.


  1. I think having a "Gay" bar would add a great detail to it's community
    with it's growing amount of Homeboy Homo's", but with it's close
    proximity to the school and the "KKK" Hebrews across the street,

  2. @Harlem Cubano—gay bars and schools exist pretty much side by side in Chelsea.

    Would be nice to have the same live and let live scenario here.

  3. and it's not like there's a real chance of actual shared space, since their hours of operation are on opposite extremes.

  4. Its not like the Black Israelites(the KKK Hebrews) have any real influence on the neighborhood. Or the local Rastas either.

    IMO, it would be the garden varity Bible-Thumpers (using the nearby school as an excuse) that would be the real sticking point to a Gay bar in the area.

    Doesn't mean that it couldn't or shouldn't happen, just that there'd be wailing and gnashing of teeth over it.

  5. I would love a gay bar in Harlem ... it would mean that the neighborhood has really started to change for the better. I do remember, though, some years ago, a gay bar opened and locals would spend their time throwing bottles at the building and its patrons. (Bible thumping at it's best!) But ... perhaps times have changed. It would be grand if they have.

  6. While neither a thumper or gay........ -funny how those words can go together- the solution is simple.
    Open a bar.
    Let it exist with no push back from thumpers and then advertise in gay friendly publications and websites to attract your desired clientele.
    When thumpers complain ask where were they when approval was granted and show them as the hypocrites they are.

  7. What about opening a Community Pride Center in Harlem? I think that's much more needed than a bar.