Actions by Friends of the Trenton Bath House and the recent diligent reporting in the media have forced a happy ending to the saga of the Trenton Bath House. U.S. 1 made an important contribution last year by running one of the first stories to note that the Bath House would be for sale and by covering a small exhibition that highlighted ways in which the Bath House could be adapted to future use (“The Little Bath House That Could,” June 25, 2005).
Mercer County planner Donna Lewis has now confirmed that the county will use Green Acres money to buy the property and put historic preservation and conservation easements in place. Ewing Township, which will own the main JCC building, will operate the Bath House and pool as a community recreation site. Four acres at the far back of the JCC property will be sold independently by the current owners.
This is an ideal solution that reflects well on the efforts of many people. The architecture and preservation communities actively voiced their concerns. The press played a critical role in making the public aware that the Bath House might have closed permanently on September 5 if there had not been a quick sale. County officials, too, deserve praise for diligently pursuing a complicated transaction and for having the vision to see that the Bath House will add to the historic and cultural resources of the county. This is a “win-win” conclusion.
Susan G. Solomon Ph.D.
Curatorial Resources & Research