Whatever Happened To Public Toilets?

On World Toilet Day the author asks: “How do you manage to enjoy a city if you’re constantly worrying about “holding it”?”

by Art Cohen (Baltimore Brew, 11/19/2010)

Vintage “comfort station” (ie public restroom) converted to a community visitors’ center by Historic Federal Hill Main Street. Photo by: Art Cohen, Baltimorebrew.com

“For some reason which is never clear to any foreigner, American cities tend to ignore one of the simple facts of nature.”

The need to urinate is what was being referenced delicately in this article about toilet availability, published in The Baltimore Evening Sun on January 2, 1941, on the eve of the arrival of 50,000 troops on their way to fight in World War II.

To accommodate the full bladders of an earlier wave of soldiers, during World War I, Baltimore churches had opened their toilet facilities to members of the public needing restrooms. In 1942, the City’s Advisory Engineers recommended that the City Plan Commission add seven additional public toilets (referred to as “comfort stations”) to the nine that had been constructed in or near Baltimore markets between 1907 and 1929.

Continue reading “Whatever Happened To Public Toilets?” at Baltimore Brew.

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