Park Slope

Get a good look at New York Methodist Hospital’s historic buildings before the wrecking ball swings

October 1, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Get a good look before they're gone. Here are some of the historic buildings New York Methodist Hospital plans to tear down for its expansion.

Eye On Real Estate: Stately properties are situated on proposed Park Slope expansion site

The wrecking ball awaits.

Before they’re gone, gone, gone, take a moment to appreciate the buildings New York Methodist Hospital has targeted for demolition.

The hospital, which has owned the handsome properties for decades, plans to tear them down and construct the Center for Community Health, a 486,000-square-foot building that would be 150 feet high.

Get a good look — while there’s still time — at these stately Park Slope rowhouses and small apartment buildings of limestone, brick and brownstone on 5th and 6th streets and Eighth Avenue. They’re part of the historic fabric of a storied Brooklyn neighborhood that’s “not only a New York treasure, but a national treasure of a preserved, human-scale place,” architectural historian Francis Morrone said in an affidavit for a lawsuit challenging the development. (More about that lawsuit in a minute.)

The buildings aren’t landmarked. That doesn’t make them unworthy of attention.

The expansion site was left out of a city-designated historic district because of an agreement made in 2009 by NY Methodist, the Park Slope Civic Council and Community Board 6.

BTW, there are 103 housing units in the buildings, six of them rent-controlled, according to Preserve Park Slope, a neighborhood group that is spearheading continuing opposition to the proposed development.

NY Methodist officials believe that an efficient new structure is a necessary addition that will enable the hospital, whose main address is 506 6th St., to provide better healthcare for Brooklyn.

Preserve Park Slope members believe that hospital honchos didn’t heed a prior pledge to respect the low-rise neighborhood’s “sense of place” in their planned development.

Though fiercely opinionated about so many things, Eye on Real Estate does not have a stance on whether variances that the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals approved in June for the proposed project were rightly or wrongly granted.

That’s for a judge to decide. In July, Preserve Park Slope filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court about this very subject. (This is the suit for which Morrone gave his affidavit.)

See related stories for details about the doomed buildings — and intriguing nearby properties as well.

 

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