Women’s Comfort Station
The Women’s Comfort Station is a small, single-room structure located near the Jewish Grounds at Oakland Cemetery. Constructed in 1908 as a restroom and place of refuge from rain or excessive sunlight, the historically and architecturally significant building sat vacant for roughly 50 years before being completely restored in 2019. It now serves as a revolving exhibit for panels about the history of Atlanta and Oakland.
Total Cost: $250K
What it lacks in size, the Women’s Comfort Station makes up for in character. The building’s interior features mosaic tile floors, glazed tile walls, sea green plaster, and marble stall partitions. It was a luxurious building for its time, especially for a restroom! The exterior, too, is unique. It boasts a flat roof with stone parapets as well as a false “pent roof” covered in pressed tin tiles, a red brick and tan brick facade, and ornate window muntins.
While a nearly identical men’s comfort station was built near Potter’s Field during the same time period, no other comfort stations were known to have existed prior to the ones built at Oakland. And today, there are no known buildings like this one in the city making the Women’s Comfort Station architecturally valuable not not only to Oakland but also to Atlanta.
Restoration Plan and New Use
The primary objectives of the project were to rebuild the roof and exterior masonry, to replace missing interior tile and plaster, and to install electric and HVAC systems. This work was performed in two phases – exterior stabilization and interior renovation. Construction began in March 2019 and was completed by fall of the same year.
Having a free-standing restroom in the middle of the cemetery is a security hazard and a maintenance nightmare, so we did not return the building to its original use. Instead, the Women’s Comfort Station is now used as an exhibit space for panels about the history of Atlanta and Oakland.
You are invited to visit the restored Women’s Comfort Station, which now serves as a rotating exhibit space. The Comfort Station is open to the public on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Exhibits will be changed out seasonally.
The current exhibit focuses on Oakland Cemetery’s history as a garden cemetery. The exhibit describes the rise in popularity of early garden cemeteries and Oakland’s development as a public green space
Help Maintain this Architectural Gem
Please consider contributing to the educational programming and ongoing maintenance of the Women’s Comfort Station. When you donate, tell us what are the money should go towards under “Donation Purpose”.