Back from the Dead: LPC Approves New Plan for St. Vincent’s

otoole building Back from the Dead: LPC Approves New Plan for St. Vincents

Overbite this.

Sometimes landmark battles have happy endings.

Many a preservationist lamented the demise of the Village’s O’Toole Building, the old National Maritime Union headquarters more commonly known as the Overbite Building for its unusual facade. After a three-year fight at the landmarks and city planning commissions, St. Vincent’s won begrudging approval to tear down the modernist structure and replace it with a new 21-story hospital tower.

When St. Vincent’s went bankrupt (the story was not a happy ending for everyone), its development partner, Rudin Management, turned to North Shore/LIJ to keep its multimillion dollar condo plan on the former hospital campus alive. Instead of building a new hospital—which never would have passed landmarks—North Shore/LIJ came up with a plan to repurpose the O’Toole Building, which won unanimous approval from the commission today.

“It’s a felicitous conclusion,” Commission Chair Robert Tierney said at today’s hearig. “The proposal will allow the building to be restored intact and function as a health care facility and not detract from the character of the district. I enthusiastically support this application.”

The plan calls for restoring the facade to its original appearance, after new tiles were added during later renovations. The plans also address one of the biggest complaints against the building, its uninviting Seventh Avenue side. This will be opened up to create a new entrance, and while it is not quite the vibrancy of a sidewalk cafe that Jane Jacobs relished, it is seen as an improvement from the hedges and glass brick that currently dominate the expanse.

Bill Rudin applauded the decision in a statement. “Today’s vote is further recognition that the North Shore-LIJ Comprehensive Care Center is not only the best plan to bring health care back to the West Side, but the right one for the neighborhood,” he said. “Along with our LPC-approved residential development, new open space and a public school, this plan preserves the heart and character of the West Village community.”

“I want to really thank the applicants for saving this building,” Commissioner Margery Perlmutter said.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC

Comments

  1. Centipede220 says:

    Condo
    deal is a scam show up to protest the ULURP tomorrow NYC Dept of Planning to
    testify in front of Amanda Burden 22 Read St. Nov. 30th at 10:00 am DEMAND A
    FULL SERVICE EMERGECNY HOSPITAL !!!!Did you know if BilL Rudin EMPIRE wrote off
    the donated Otoole Bldg ($200M) he only spent $50 Million for 850,000 SF and
    did you know if the LIJ North Snore Lenox Scam 2 observation bed…transfer to
    Lenox Hill and Beth Is. where there are 7 – 12 hour waits NOW –if it fails
    well all rights evert back to Mr. Rudin there are no guarantees except to the
    1% –1.5 Million people do not have emergency care and no pediatric at all!!!!