After being sent back to the drawing board by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, St. Vincent’s will be presenting a slightly smaller-scale proposal before the commission on June 3rd. St. Vincent’s administrators originally sought approval to raze a number of buildings in Greenwich Village – including the historically significant O’Toole Building, built in 1963 – and construct a new 329-foot-tall, $800 million hospital center.
The Sun has it that their new pitch would still demolish the O’Toole building, but the new hospital would be 9% shorter than previous plans, rising to less than 300 feet. Rudin Management Co., which would buy eight buildings from the hospital to finance the project, would also build a somewhat smaller luxury condominium once they tear down the buildings – it would drop to 233 feet from 265 feet and be 60 feet less wide. Rudin would also spare four of the purchased buildings.
Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, says it’s now up to the Landmarks Commission to decide “whether they have reduced them enough.” St. Vincent’s is also determined to seek a hardship exemption from the commission; if the hospital can prove that it cannot carry out its charitable mission while preserving the O’Toole Building, approval to demolish it might be granted.