Rumors of the Turkish Baths' imminent demise have not been exaggerated.
The fiance and I happened upon it in this condition yesterday, a year almost to the day from the first time it caught my eye. See the first post about the place here.
This building was the first spark to the interest that became Abandoned Baton Rouge. I was sad to see the old place go, but I'm glad I caught it halfway. And at least now I could look inside...what was left of the inside.
Once we got close, the rubble smelled acrid, like burned insulation. First we went to the right side of the intact part of the building and looked under the building, where all manner of unsavory activities could have taken place.
But overall, not as scary of a view as one might expect. During college, I rented an apartment in New Brunswick that had a dirtier basement. (I'm talking about it had a huge pile of literal dirt.)
Here's the view through one of the air-conditioner holes from the same side.
Then I climbed up to the rubble part to get another look inside. Note the propped mattress toward the back.
Pretty mundane stuff for Turkish Baths. Not having ever been inside a Turkish bath house myself, I don't know firsthand what sort of activities went on in there...but I've seen the movies, and can tell you there won't be any more of that going on. No more tossing around of the medicine ball, no more lifting barbells, wearing a stripey wrestling outfit while sporting a handlebar moustache, no more sparring about in the pose of the Fighting Irish mascot, no more fat-reducing jittery-band-around-the waist machine, no more sauna box with the opening at the top for your head to stick out. (Those movies I saw were actually Three Stooges and Little Rascals clips.)
Actually, as mentioned in 225's photo tour of the building, in more recent times it served as a rehearsal space for bands. I'm not sure what kind of music went down in there, but can tell you that as of yesterday, the place looks quite metal.
On the way out, I grabbed myself a few souvenirs, as I'd encourage anyone else so inclined to do, before it's gone for good. Now's your chance to recycle some BR history. I picked two sharp slivers of wood to use as stakes in the garden, as well as a chunk of concrete with pink tile from the shower, thinking it would make a fine headstone for my cat's grave. (It does.) The one below isn't the same chunk, although it does appear like a cat may have had some trouble upon it.
So why did the Turkish Baths get the works? That's nobody's business but the Turks.