In our roundup of nautically-influenced architecture in New York City, the O’Toole Medical Services Building of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village was high on our list. Built originally for the National Maritime Union by architect Albert C. Ledner, it’s clad in white with portholes as windows. It closed in 2010, but The New York Times has reported that the building will be reused as a medical facility again by the North-Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, who will repurpose the space as an emergency room and care center.
As the Times notes, it’s “surprising…that the building survived to see this day.” In 2008, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a hardship application from St. Vincent’s Hospital which claimed it couldn’t meet its charitable mission without demolishing the O’Toole building but the hospital closed in 2010 before demolition plans were put into motion.
The building will be restored, much to the relief of preservationists and residents. For many, the building represents an aesthetic choice in a city that often forgoes visuals for short-term real-estate common sense–something that remains true in 1964 when it was built and today.
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