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Park House Opens in McCarren Park

By on Monday, June 27th, 2022 at 11:59 am

Park House is the former toilets and maintenance building in McCarren park converted into a bar, coffee shop, and ice cream shop

Park House opened this past week at the North end of McCarren park.

Inside, patrons will find several distinct businesses each operated separately and sharing the facilities.

The Park House is small, but a lot is packed inside. The set up is like a food hall, also known as a food court. Blank Street provides coffee; Club Club sells light food; Oddfellows serves up ice cream; and Park Bar is a full service bar.

Park house has several different businesses.

The bar sits at the center of the structure, and is light and airy with a modern, Nordic inspired design.

The bar at the Park House

The coffee shop has pastries and light food from one of the new extensions added to the back of the building. On either side of the original structure, steel beams and big glass windows form two new walls. The whole design feels a bit ad hoc.

Over the weekend, the shop offered customers free drinks from a selection of cold brew, tea, and juices. The store also has an app that allowed customers to get their first drink free on Sunday.

Bank Street offers coffee and pastries at Park House

A patio built into the back of the building includes picnic tables with umbrellas. The trees in the park provide limited shade. The patio overlooks a grassy area commonly used for picnics and where people are often seen enjoying beverages with alcohol. The shade from the trees generally keeps the area cooler in the summer. Grills are located in a different part of the park.

Picnic tables along the backside of the cafe area at Park House overlooking McCarren park

Although there are umbrellas on the picnic tables, the sun was intense. Landscaping has been added to shield the tables from the park and creates a kind of permeable fence.

Umbrellas along the patio help shade the picnic tables from intense sun

The patio has an entrance to the main building and leading out into the lawn. As more people use the entrance, it’s like that a persistent muddy patch forms where the grass and the patio meet.

The rear entrance of the Park House is the former toilets and maintenance building in McCarren park converted into a bar, coffee shop, and ice cream shop

A new wall was built to connect the old building to a new maintenance structure. It cause a lot of confusion for patrons accustomed to walking around the bathhouse.

A new wall links the old and new building

The Park House also includes an Oddfellows Ice Cream stand.

Odd fellows at park house

The building was after all intended as a bathhouse to provide toilets. The old facilities were horrific. The toilet looked a lot like that toilet from Trainspotting, “the worst toilet in Scotland”. They have since been renovated and toilets for all persons have been reconfigured through the door that had once been the men’s room.

The new toilets are in the old men's room

The toilets for women were repurposed into a service entrance, gated off and connected to the ugly new shed. The old toilets used to have a long line during high summer months. The new facilities did not appear to have any lines on a recent weekend day.

The old ladies' wash room has since become a service entrance

The new maintenance shed is plopped into place with much consideration to design. It intrudes into the pedestrian pathway and looks like a cancerous tumor on the side of the old building. The original bathhouse was built in 1911, and is still a beautiful piece of architecture. This new shed is ugly even by modern architectural standards and a testament to the failure of low-bid construction. Is this the second ugliest building in Brooklyn after PS-132?

The new maintenance shed is an ugly box built in what appears to be an entirely random place adjacent to the old structure



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