The quiet women’s prison on West 20th Street

If you’ve gotta do jail time, you could do worse than serving your sentence at Bayview Correctional Facility in Chelsea. This medium-security prison facing the West Side Highway is tucked away in a former YMCA called the Seaman’s Home.

Built in 1931, Seaman’s Home provided room and board to sailors during the decades when Chelsea Piers was a place to dock ships, not to work out. New York State bought the building in 1967 and turned it into a drug rehab center, then a prison in the 1970s.


The building has an institutional feel, sure, but if you look closely on the brick facade, you’ll see lovely ship and sea motifs, like these:

bayviewanchor bayviewlighthouse1

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2 Responses to “The quiet women’s prison on West 20th Street”

  1. sean Says:

    My friend, Marvin, spent a few days there in the seventies for a few days, and he was no woman.

  2. The nautical loveliness of a Jane Street hotel | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the YMCA built a new seamen’s home on West 20th Street, the organization dedicated itself to providing free room and board to destitute […]

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