When the AIDS epidemic struck in the 1980s, New York City was the first place in the country to report a case, and in the years following, the area around Greenwich Village had more cases and deaths than anywhere in the city. The now-shuttered St. Vincent’s Hospital at 11th Street and Seventh Avenue South became known as the “ground zero” of the epidemic; it was the nation’s second institution to treat HIV, and its staff of Catholic nuns refused to turn away any patient. To commemorate this effort and honor those who were lost, the city has today, on World AIDS Day, dedicated the new $6 million NYC AIDS Memorial, located in St. Vincent’s Triangle, across from the old hospital site (h/t Curbed). Designed by architecture firm Studio a + i, the 18-foot geometric steel canopy hovers above granite pavers by visual artist Jenny Holzer that feature selections from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”
The memorial with The Greenwich Lane in the background
St. Vinent’s closed in 2010, and the following year Rudin Management inked a deal to convert part of the campus into luxury condos–The Greenwich Lane. As part of the controversial deal, the developer agreed to create a $10 million public park in the aforementioned triangular piece of land that would include the city’s first major AIDS memorial. Back in February 2015, 6sqft revealed renderings of the 16,000-square-foot green space, designed by M. Paul Friedberg & Partners. At this time, Rudin broke ground on the project and launched a design competition for the memorial.
In the center of the pavers is a granite water feature. The canopy, made up of large and small triangles, is surrounded by benches and serves as a gateway to Rudin’s new public space, dubbed St. Vincent’s Hospital Park.
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Neighborhoods : Greenwich Village