Tuesday, November 29, 2011
In 1979, the Staten Island Hospital decided to relocate to its current location on 475 Seaview Avenue, the property was sold to a developer with plans for condominiums. The condo development failed and by the early 1990s it was abandoned and tax liens began to accumulate. In 1983 and 1991 there were community efforts to landmark Smith’s Infirmary with no success.
Due to renewed concern for the property and news that it is being considered for affordable housing, a group of concerned Staten Islanders have formed ‘the Coalition to Save the Castle’. The Coalition believes that most Staten Islanders consider this building a ‘community’ landmark and demand the Castle be protected and included in any plans to redevelop the site. The building has been nominated for NYC landmark status and is under consideration.Without landmarking of this building, it could be demolished and not part of the redevelopment plans. Members of the community would have less community input on the redevelopment of the site and lose a rare building.
The Coalition also believes that landmarking reduces waste and all the buildings on the six acre site should be studied for renovation, rather than demolition. Less debris in the landfills benefits all of us. Staten Island had the largest garbage dump for 30 years, we should be concerned with green building practices. It benefits our community and future generations. By Angela D’Aiuto.
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