By Ellen Hume, Marie Simboli and Kirsten Hoffman – Save the Nazzaro Coalition

Dear Mayor Walsh:

Thank you! We are grateful to hear that you are not planning to sell, demolish or convert for private housing the iconic Nazzaro Building / North Bennet Street Bathhouse in Boston’s oldest neighborhood, the North End. As you know, this elegant building and adjacent playground are essential, beloved public spaces, heavily used by generations of Bostonians for over 100 years.

It will reassure the North End community if you and our other elected officials officially support the petition to Landmark the Nazzaro Building, while the exciting plans for a modern new community center are also finalized for another location. We are so happy that you are open to keeping the Nazzaro Building in public use, and that the historic building does not have to be sold to pay for our much-needed new community center.

The public hearing about Landmarking the Nazzaro Building will be at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12 at Boston City Hall, room 900 on the 9th floor. We are hoping all of our elected officials and many of our neighbors will be there to support this petition. Landmark status will ensure only that the outside structure is preserved, along with the open space of the Polcari playground. Landmarking the building will not affect upgrading the interior, establishing new uses or even selling the building.

By supporting the Landmark petition, you would demonstrate that even as our city booms with new high-rise skyscrapers, you respect the history and culture of Boston’s iconic “Little Italy,” the North End. We look forward to working with you and our other elected officials on re-designing the interior of the Nazzaro Building and supporting the new community center wherever it may be built.

As the over 1,500 signatures on two Save the Nazzaro petitions have shown, there is widespread community concern and support for saving the Nazzaro building while the city adds much needed new facilities in a second community center. We applaud your efforts to give our neighborhood a regulation-sized basketball court, weight room and other facilities in a new location. We accept your invitation to work together to keep the existing historic building intact and in public use.   


Ellen Hume, Marie Simboli and Kirsten Hoffman
Save the Nazzaro Coalition welcomes commentaries on community issues via email to or through our Submit a Post online form. Opinions are those solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of or other writers on this site. Responses to this commentary can be posted below in the comment section.

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  1. Thank you Ellen, Marie and Kirsten for taking the lead to preserve the exterior of Nazzaro and the Polcari Playground, two valuable, historic and essential properties for the North End Community. I’m confident that your due diligence and hard work will result in a positive outcome! Much appreciated!

  2. Ellen, Marie and Kirsten, thank you or your efforts to save the Nazzaro building. Newer building lack the

    character and artistic construction of older buildings. Additionally there is much history behind this structure,

    which is foreign to modern day society. As a young child, living in a cold water flat, it was the one place we could go to twice a week to shower Walking there and home anytime of year, any type of weather, for te

    treat of showering. A fond memory..

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