102808otoole.jpgAfter a long, bitter public battle, St. Vincent's hospital has won permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to raze the distinctive O’Toole Building in the West Village and build a 299-foot-tall medical tower. The hospital applied for, and was granted, a “hardship-status” exemption, which allows nonprofit landlords to demolish landmark buildings if they can prove that the building is preventing them from carrying out their charitable mission. Community groups, preservationists and local celebrities like Susan Sarandon have opposed the scope of the project, which also calls for a 235-foot-tall luxury condominium (in partnership with the Rudin Management Company). In a statement, hospital officials said they can now take "another step forward to building a 21st century, technologically advanced hospital for Manhattan’s West Side and Downtown."