The Art Deco health clinic sign off Worth Street

I’ve always admired the building at 125 Worth Street, which houses the Departments of Health, Hospitals, and Sanitation (or at least did at some point since the building opened in 1935).

clinicdeptofsanitationEnormous Art Deco–inspired lanterns and bronze grillwork flank the entrances, and health-themed ornamentation decorate the facade.

Then there’s this small sign above an unremarkable flight of stairs descending to a basement door on the side of the building.

It reads “Clinic Department of Sanitation.” The lettering is lovely and eye-catching.


But I wonder who lined up outside this door decades ago when a clinic existed here, and what they came here to treat.

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6 Responses to “The Art Deco health clinic sign off Worth Street”

  1. Claudia Says:

    Employees of the Sanitation Dept. who were not well – perhaps job-related? It was a time of communicable diseases. And government was so different then. . .

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    That sounds totally plausible. I just wonder if it wasn’t also a clinic for the public for vaccines and treatment of things the health department was concerned with, like VD.

  3. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    Those are terrific light fixture designs you have spotted! They remind me of some of the equiptment in the lab of Dr. Frankenstein in the origional / old movie. ( I think these amazing creations were located decades later and incorporated into the Mel Brook’s version too!)

    The Deco era’s design for exterior lighting fixtures on public buildings seems to have been popular in an ‘elongated form,’ like those marvelous lighting pieces that grace the Department of Justice in downtown Washington, D.C.

  4. The Art Deco health clinic sign off Worth Street — Ephemeral New York – Reading Other People Says:

    […] via The Art Deco health clinic sign off Worth Street — Ephemeral New York […]

  5. edkowalski76 Says:

    It was a medical clinic that the Department of Sanitation used for their employees on Workers’ Compensation cases….

  6. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you!

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