Three portable toilets in John Jay Park on the Upper East Side park burned down. The toilets were brought in while the park bathhouse (1906) is undergoing long-delayed renovations. (Photos: © Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.
A heated portable toilet in an Upper East Side park erupted in flames, causing a chain-reaction blaze that gutted three of the toilets and knocked two others out of commission, according to the New York Post.
The fire erupted in a Port-O-San toilet in John Jay Park on 76th Street near Cherokee Place -- where the bathrooms are being renovated -- at 11 a.m. Thursday. It was apparently sparked by a faulty electrical connection. It took firefighters about 15 minutes to extinguish the blaze. No one was injured.
Sources tell A Walk In The Park the toilets were brought in while the park bathhouse (1906) is undergoing long-delayed renovations. The bathhouse work includes installing an elevator inside the building to comply with ADA and bringing the outside bathrooms to grade. (Seven steps prevented people in wheelchairs from accessing the facilities) Work also includes renovating the decrepit shower facilities and repairing dangerous cracked, leaking moldy ceilings and walls which park workers complained about for many, years. Electrical and plumbing are also being upgraded.
The two remaining portable toilets inside the park are ADA compliant however due to their location they are inaccessible for people in wheelchairs. The entry pathway does not meet ADA accessibility guidelines. (See Below)
Making The Lives of The City's Most Vulnerable More Difficult. Despite having acres of parkland to place these ADA compliant Port-O-Sans, the city placed them adjacent to a tree pit and a park bench whereby preventing access. The entry pathway does not meet ADA accessibility guidelines.
John Jay Park is named for a New York jurist and statesman. John Jay (1745-1829) was elected President of the First Continental Congress in 1778 and drafted New York's first constitution in 1777.
The Parks Department refused comment despite repeated attempts to reach them. – Geoffrey Croft
New York Post - November 9, 2010 - By John Doyle