Friday, January 31, 2014

The T Building: Should it stay or go?

From the Times Ledger:

About a year after it floated a plan to convert an underused building on its Jamaica Hills campus into supportive housing, Queens Hospital Center is now considering tearing down the T Building, though a group of preservationists wants to see the historic structure stay.

The hospital’s plan last year to lease the 76-year-old former tuberculosis ward was met with sharp rebuke from neighborhood residents and community leaders, who feared the building’s tenants — people with low incomes, chronic conditions, mental disabilities and those living with HIV/AIDS — would be too close for comfort to nearby schools.

Queens Hospital eventually dropped the plan and now is looking at a number of options for the building — which is currently being used as a back office — including demolition.

The Queens Preservation Council, however, is up in arms over the prospect of losing the building designed by John Russell Pope, architect of Washington, D.C.’s Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art.

“Not only is this handsome building an outstanding work by a master architect, but its history embodies our city’s and our country’s response to urgent public health care needs during the Great Depression,” preservation chairman Mitchell Grubler wrote.

Richard Hellenbrecht, president of the Queens Civic Congress, said he has heard both sides of the argument and said each has a valid point.

“It’s impressive architecturally. It’s got a lot of detail that would be nice to preserve, but it’s got structural problems that would be expensive if they had to be repaired,” he said. “I’m on the fence myself. I don’t know if it’s best to demolish it or to save it.”


chris said...

Beautiful building?

Anonymous said...

I vote demolish. Lots of critically needed 10 family Fedders Specials could be built on that site for the influx of needy illegals about to be unleashed on Queens by Fugazio and "comprehensive immigration reform" i.e. "Operation New Democrat Voters".

Missing Foundation said...

"needy illegals about to be unleashed on Queens by Fugazio"

Will not happen.

Our stalwart defenders on City Council will stop them at the borders.

The ink stained editors of our weeklies will unleash a tsunami of words and pulp in our defense.

And last but not least, our civics will bestir themselves from the doze of lawn care and the intricacies of worshiping politicians to goad our electeds to dash into the fray.

Do not believe me? Its all in been written on the wall. As a matter of fact, you can go the Queens Library. Not much on the shelves, but you can see lots of things written on the wall.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Chris.
It's like a sickness with some of these people. A building is built for a purpose. When the purpose changes...

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Chris.
It's like a sickness with some of these people. A building is built for a purpose. When the purpose changes...

... you find a new purpose for it... its called 'adaptive reuse', buster, a word familiar in the other boroughs.

Don't get out much, do you?

Anonymous said...

In some ways, hospitals are like airports. As the medical profession changes, so do the buildings. Security, fire safety, handicapped accessibility and environmental sustainability are taken into account.

Often, the art deco and modernist facilities are knocked down in favor of postmodern glass boxes. What we lose in history, we hope to gain in usefulness.

What does the loss of the T Building mean for Queens? It means losing a hospital with wraparound balconies situated atop one of the highest points in the area.

Anyway, it reminds me a bit of Elmhurst Library, where the needs of a growing population took precedence over preservation.

Anonymous said...

Missing Foundation:

Don't know about the Council people, but it seems some ink-stained weekly editor thought de Blasio's plans for more people here worth running by the civics. They didn't like it.

Another weekly took a different approach to the same subject:

And it seems like they all had something to say about the library this week!

Anonymous said...

As a resident of this surrounding area we do not need any further congestion in the area. There is no place to park now between the areas of 164th st up to 188th st curtousy of St. John's university who built dorms from main st to 188 st. Our neighborhoods has been trashed so has our property not to mention occasionally damage to our cars. Our driveways are blocked on a daily basis and the police dept is useless in helping. This was all done during the time of a GOP mayor. They listened to our pleas but spit in our faces with empty promises. The area grew the streets, sewers etc were not expanded with the area. A once nice area now looks like a dump. I'm not sure what they should do with the building, but unless the city builds and repairs the streets to accommodate the traffic I say leave it vacant . We are already going to have a massive new building near parsons and union enough is enough already.

Anonymous said...

That building is gorgeous. It should be spruced up and turned into condos. This is one time where I don't mind the expression "luxury condos." It's worth saving.

Anything new will just be cheap shit for illegals - like all of downtown, fugly, Flooshing.