Triangle By Former St. Vincent's Hospital To Honor Local AIDS Victims
Plans are in the works for a memorial park to honor the more than 100,000 New York City residents lost to AIDS. The memorial will be built in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, where many of them had lived, and where much of the fight against the disease was waged. Borough reporter Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
There is a little triangle with enormous potential, located in Greenwich Village across the street from the former St. Vincent's Hospital, an institution known for being one of the first to treat people with HIV and AIDS.
"There's a lot of history that needs to be shared, lessons that could be learned, just information and stories exchanged," said Paul Kelterborn of the AIDS Memorial Park Coalition.
When St. Vincent's closed two years ago, the Rudin Management company bought the entire site.
Last week, the city Planning Commission signed off on Rudin's plan to build luxury residences there and create an open space at the triangle site.
Within that site, some activists envisioned an AIDS memorial and launched a design competition to get people thinking about it.
"We got over 475 entries from 26 states, over 30 countries," said Christopher Tepper of the AIDS Memorial Park Coalition.
A sketch of "Infinite Forest." Click to enlarge.
The coalition's winning concept is a collaboration among five architects called "Infinite Forest," which uses mirrors to encourage self-reflection, literally and figuratively.
"You bring your own emotional relationship to the AIDS epidemic, to the project and you're really able to face yourself and your own understanding," said architect John Thurtle.
"Everybody come here will have a different emotion and reflect themselves differently," said architect In Sook.
Architects said it was challenging to envision a memorial while recognizing the AIDS epidemic is an ongoing battle.
"This needed to be a real park for everybody, for the people living in the city, as well as the people who come here to remember their family, or their friends that they have lost because of AIDS," said architect Esteban Erlich.
There is no price tag yet for the design, which the coalition says is still in a conceptual phase.
The next formal step in the process is the full City Council vote on the site redevelopment. The coalition is hoping the council will endorse its concept then and offer ideas on how involved parties can collaborate going forward.