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Morningside Heights hospital-to-residential conversion gets Landmarks approval

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The LPC approved changes to the Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital complex

UPDATE: CetraRuddy will be designing the conversion of the five buildings into rentals with the carriage house at this complex being converted into an amenity space. Construction will get underway early next year and wrap up sometime in 2019.

Back in June, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital sold off five former hospital buildings in Morningside Heights to Delshah Capital for $115.5 million. The plan: convert the grand quintet of turn-of-the-century towers into a 204-unit residential complex. Now, those plans are one step closer to reality, reports YIMBY.

On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Committee unanimously approved “alterations and infill” for the buildings, praising the project for its “thoughtful and sensitive preservation approach.”

So what exactly is happening? YIMBY breaks it down: There are five buildings in play: the Plant, Scrymser, Travers, and Minturn pavilions, and a two-story former ambulance carriage house that sits in the middle. Three of those buildings—the Travers, the Minturn, and the carriage house, are not landmarked. But the Plant and the Scrymser pavilions, both designed by Ernest Flagg, were designated a combined individual landmark in 2002, thus the need for the LPC’s approval.

Despite sounding complicated, the plan, YIMBY notes, is actually relatively simple, with the biggest change being a new six-story connector between the Scrymser and Travers pavilions. The whole complex will also get restoration work.

The LPC was generally impressed with the plans, though there was one quibble: the LPC wasn’t thrilled with the “large and boxy bulkhead” planned for the top of the Scrymser pavilion. Still, it was hardly a deal-breaker: the committee just asked that developers “work with LPC staff to reduce the visibility of the new bulkhead,” and maybe add some ornamentation.

Check out the full plans for the renovation here.