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Good news for future of Kahn's 'first significant building'

Fears over the future of Louis Kahn's famous Trenton Bath House in New Jersey appear to be abating, it emerged this weekend.

The hugely important 1954 building - where Kahn claimed to have 'discovered himself' - has been in a state of disrepair for decades.

But now, after years of neglect, local campaigners believe the local council, Mercer County - the original owner - is set to buy it.

Officials believe that the Bath House would be ideal for conversion to a home for old-age pensioners.

Fears first emerged over the future of the building when the long-term owner, the Jewish Community Center, announced that it was planning to move out of the complex.

However, any conversion will not be without its problems. The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and is locally protected, needs an estimated $500,000 to $1 million in repairs.

The news that Mercer County is prepared to take on the building was welcomed by local architectural historian Susan Solomon, who had warned that the land may have been sold to a developer.

'I feared it would fall to demolition by neglect,' she told a local paper in New Jersey. 'I couldn't be happier [with the prospect of the county purchase]. The county has an excellent reputation for preserving historic structures.'

by Ed Dorrell

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