Above is a photograph by Anders Goldfarb of Stauch’s Baths on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Once a popular destination for gay men in the 1940-50s, it fell into disrepair after a fire destroyed the building in 1983, and was eventually torn down in 1992. You may also recognize the building from Walter Hill’s iconic 1979 film The Warriors. The graffiti prominently displayed on the front of the bath house was added by the production crew for the opening scene of the film. Although, the scene was ultimately deleted from the movie, the graffiti remained for years until the building was demolished.
This photograph, among others, is featured in the book When Brooklyn was Queer by Hugh Ryan, which chronicles the LGBTQ history of the borough dating from the mid-1800s to present day. Hugh is also one of the curators behind BHS’s On the (Queer) Waterfront, the first exhibition of its kind to showcase the queer history of Brooklyn. The exhibit is on display now through August 4th, 2019 at Brooklyn Historical Society’s Pierrepont Street location. Come by for a visit and share your experience in the comments below!
This image comes from the Anders Goldfarb photographs of Coney Island Collection (V1992.048). For more information about the work, please see our finding aid here and for more photographs, please see our image gallery here.
Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections; visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00p.m. [email protected].