St. Vincent's Hospital just got the OK from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a new two-tower scheme, but folks at the northern edge of Greenwich Village already have a new multi-year construction project to concern themselves with. Across the street from St. V's, the MTA is moving forward with plans for an emergency ventilation plant on the small triangular plot of land between Seventh Avenue and Greenwich Avenue that used to be home to an all-night diner, immortalized in the Edward Hopper painting "Nighthawks." The vacant lot is currently enclosed by a chain link fence, but not just any chain link fence.
On September 11, 2001, a spontaneous memorial began to form on the property, as New Yorkers placed notes and pictures seeking those who had been lost in the attack on the World Trade Center. Shortly after a more permanent memorial of ceramic tiles called Tiles for America arose on the corner. With memories of the Twin Towers disappearing all the time, the vent project has caused neighborhood concern that the MTA plan will not properly incorporate some of the Tiles for America tribute.
This being the Greenwich Village Historic District, the MTA has prepared a few design proposals for the community and officials to debate?including one with a living green wall. Here's a PDF of the presentation recently given to Community Board 2 that provides a look at the various designs, including options for preserving some of the ceramic tiles. We've plucked some favorite images out of the presentation and placed them in the gallery above. Any favorites in the bunch?
· MTA Proposed Emergency Vent Plant [CB2; warning: PDF]
· Anxiety over 9/11 tiles is fanned by Transit plan [The Villager]