New St. Marks Baths

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The New St. Marks Baths
Site of the bathhouse in 2009, after being extensively renovated for retail use
Former names The Saint Marks Russian and Turkish Baths
General information
Type Gay bathhouse
Location New York, N.Y.,
Address 6 St. Marks Place
Country United States
Coordinates 40°43′45″N 73°59′22″W / 40.729218°N 73.98949°W / 40.729218; -73.98949Coordinates: 40°43′45″N 73°59′22″W / 40.729218°N 73.98949°W / 40.729218; -73.98949
Opening 1913 (1913)
Renovated 1979
Closed December 9, 1985 (1985-12-09)
Owner Bruce Mailman
Other information
Facilities private rooms, Sauna

The New St. Marks Baths was a gay bathhouse at 6 St. Marks Place in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City from 1979 to 1985. It claimed to be the largest gay bath house in the world.

The Saint Marks Russian and Turkish Baths opened in the location in 1913. Through the 1950s it operated as a turkish bath catering to immigrants on New York's Lower East Side. In the 1950s it began to have a homosexual clientele at night. In the 1960s it became exclusively gay.[1]

In 1979 the bathhouse was refurbished, and the name was changed to the New Saint Marks Baths. In 1981 the neighboring building was purchased, with plans to expand.[2]

The AIDS epidemic caused some activists such as Larry Kramer to urge its closing[citation needed]. In October 1985 New York State Sanitary Code (10 NYCRR) § 24.2, authorized the New York City Department of Health to close any facilities "in which high risk sexual activity takes place." On December 9, 1985 the City began the process of closing the baths.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leap, William (1999). Public sex gay space. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-10691-2. 
  2. ^ Moore, Patrick (2004). Beyond shame: reclaiming the abandoned history of radical gay sexuality. Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-7956-1. 
  3. ^ "Court Upholds Power to Close Gay Bathhouses - City of New York v New St. Mark's Baths, 130 Misc. 2d 911, 497 N.Y.S.2d 979 (1986)". Retrieved 2009-11-18.