St. Vincent’s Hospital, NYC Epicenter Of AIDS Epidemic, To Become… Condos

A compromise on the future of St. Vincent’s Hospital has been reached between angry residents of NYC’s West Village neighborhood and the City Council—the building will be turned into 350 condos, reports the New York Post.

St. Vincent’s was shuttered in April 2010 after unsuccessful efforts to stop the hospital from hemorrhaging money, but it remains tragically iconic to AIDS activists as the epicenter of the HIV epidemic in the late 80s and early 90s.

It’s a quote you can almost attribute to any gay man living the city at the height of the plague: “I saw lots of my friends die there.” (For an insightful look at AIDS activism of the time, see our coverage of David France’s documentary How To Survive A Plague.)

The compromise involved converting the hospital into 350 condos instead of 450, and making room for 95 parking spaces instead of 152.

Said Christine Quinn, out NYC Council rep for the neighborhood: “The loss of St. Vincent’s was a terrible tragedy in our neighborhood. The ultimate agreement we have reached is a major step forward.”

The city will also buy a state-owned building nearby to build a school; Quinn says she is still pushing for a new hospital to serve the neighborhood. A design competition to commemorate the AIDS epidemic in a park across from the hospital was decided 2 months ago; it features an “infinite forest” of mirrors.