Orchard Beach entrance staircase, with the "L" of the north wing of
bathhouse, showing the blue terra-cotta tile motif used throughout the
building. About this, Robert A. Caro says "There was to be no barbizon
brick and Ohio sandstone in New York City parks; concrete—plain,
unadorned concrete—and brick—plain, red brick, the cheapest
made—were what the WPA had in mind; Moses was able to relieve the the
blankness of the concrete Orchard Beach bathhouse only by finding a
mysterious source of terra cotta tiles, which, while cheap, at least added
some necessary color, a chaste blue, to the unrelieved grayness."
, p.487. In fairness to the WPA, I would say that their
goal was to employ people, not to buy a lot of expensive materials.