A coalition of preservationists and community groups has filed a lawsuit against the Landmarks Preservation Commission and St. Vincent's Hospital, seeking to block the demolition of the O'Toole Building on Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets. The LPC approved St. Vincent's hardship application to demolish the sawtooth building, which sits in the protected Greenwich Village Historic District, in a controversial 6-4 vote in late October. The hospital had argued that demolishing the O'Toole Building and replacing it with a tall new medical tower was essential to the hospital's redevelopment and modernization. City Room has the details of the legal challenge:
The lawsuit asks the court to set aside the October vote because the hospital “never claimed financial hardship, and never opened their books to Landmarks or the public, or anyone else,” said Albert K. Butzel, counsel for Protect the Village Historic District, a community advocacy group that spearheaded the lawsuit. He said the commission members failed to follow the hardship standard established by the United States Supreme Court during the battles to save Grand Central Station and to prevent St. Bartholomew’s Church from demolishing its community house and build a 59-story office tower to finance church programs.In a statement, St. Vincent's responded: "Sadly this lawsuit seeks to prevent St. Vincent's from building a modern medical facility to serve Manhattan's West Side and improve health care for thousands of New Yorkers."
· Landmarks Panel Is Sued Over St. Vincent’s Vote [City Room]
· St. Vincent's coverage [Curbed]