Bronx New Deal - Photo #92 - Orchard Beach

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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." —The Power Broker, 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.

The New Deal in NYC 1932-1943 | Frank da Cruz | fdc@columbia.edu