As the FXFOWLE-designed Greenwich Lane luxury residential complex nears completion on the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, a long-awaited public park is starting to take shape directly across the street. Designed by New York City–based M. Paul Friedberg & Partners, the 16,000-square-foot green space has been promised to the community since 2011, when Rudin Management Company and Global Holdings were granted permission to transform the site of the bankrupt hospital into condos and townhouses. As a concession to the community and the city, Rudin and Global Holdings agreed to cover the cost of the $10 million park, which occupies a triangle-shaped plot sited between the forthcoming luxury residences and St. Vincent’s 1960s O’Toole Building. Perkins Eastman was hired to restore and repurpose the O’Toole Building as an outpatient health care facility by North Shore/LIJ Health System.
Renderings of the park depict an unassuming and inviting public space that feels very much at home in its context. A wrought-iron fence encloses the triangular plot, which features curving benches, colorful plantings, and numerous trees. Light-toned pavers and winding paths lead to a small lawn at the park’s center, their curving edges joining in amoeba-like forms. Play areas and water jets are also programmed for the space. “It’s designed to be a classic West Village park,” Bill Rudin, the CEO of Rudin Managenent, told the Wall Street Journal.
The design was kept simple to showcase the New York City AIDS Memorial that will command the park’s western point. The angular canopy structure, designed by Brooklyn-based Studio a+i, is 18 feet tall and covers a circular water feature. Studio a+i won a competition to design the memorial in 2012, but its scheme was subsequently simplified at the request of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. In March, the memorial’s planners announced that renowned artist Jenny Holzer will also contribute to the memorial. Holzer’s proposal inscribes passages from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” into stones around the memorial’s water feature. The local community board and the Public Design Commission must approve the design before it moves forward.
The new park is scheduled to open this summer and the memorial is slated to be unveiled in time for World AIDS Day in early December.