New York Methodist Hosptial to replace century-old buildings with out-patient facilities

Make way for Methodist: Hospital’s expansion death knell for brownstones

The Brooklyn Paper
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New York Methodist Hospital plans to demolish at least 15 buildings near the Sixth Street medical center to make way for new ambulatory centers, sources familiar with the project said.

The hospital plans to tear down a slew of old buildings — some from the 19th century — that it owns on Fifth Street, Eighth Avenue, and Sixth Street and replace them with out-patient facilities that could be as much as seven stories high, said Tom Miskel, the chair of Community Board 6’s transportation committee and a longtime Park Slope resident who said he’s sad to see the buildings, which are not landmarked or a part of Park Slope’s enormous historic district, get knocked down.

“It’s a shame that all of these brownstones have to come down,” said Miskel. “But they have the right to do it.”

The plans were previewed at a special June 19 meeting at the medical center between Seventh and Eighth avenues to a handful of community members, including Miskel. At the meeting, representatives from the hospital and the architecture firm handling the project went over the plan.

Most of the hospital-owned buildings on Eighth Avenue have been vacant for at least a year, according to neighbors. The hospital owns four 19th-century row houses on Fifth Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues, said hospital spokeswoman Lyn Hill, adding that the hospital does not plan to demolish all of the buildings on the block. Renters currently occupy some of the Fifth Street buildings.

Hill wouldn’t provide details on what she called “very preliminary” plans, but verified that there will be demolition involved, and some residents will be forced to move.

“The people who need to move have already been informed,” she said, adding that the hospital will provide all displaced residents with “equal or better housing for the same amount of money.”

Neighbors received a letter from the hospital last week notifying them of the construction project, adding that it won’t begin for at least a year. The letter invited them to a meeting at the hospital this past Thursday to discuss the construction project and “to exchange ideas about how any disruption to your block can be kept to a minimum.”

But some neighbors who would be impacted by construction said they are concerned about the ambiguous plans.

“We are worried about building dust and noise pollution,” said Fifth Street resident Philippa Garson, who lives in a condo directly across the street from the hospital-owned buildings.

Longtime Fifth Street resident David Goodman, who lives in the same building as Garson, said that although he views Methodist Hospital as an important part of the neighborhood, he is ready to put up a fight to stop it from tearing down the historic buildings.

“To tear down these buildings is criminal,” said Goodman. “We will fight them on this. I won’t allow these buildings to be knocked down if we have a chance.”

Hill said that in order to get community input on the plans hospital representatives plan to make a presentation at a July 11 public meeting with Community Board 6 and the Park Slope Civic Council.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

BenF from BH says:
Seems insane to turn LICH into condos for the $$$ and then tear down a row of brownstones to expand Methodist Hospital. Is there no one in charge in Albany or are lobbyists and consultants calling the shots up there now? Wake up Andrew-- the people will not forgive and forget.
June 26, 2013, 8:12 am
SteveS from Park Slope says:
This is complete madness!! How can they get away with blowing down all these buildings??
June 26, 2013, 9:12 am
jspechal from bedstuy says:
this is plain dumb. With several Hospital possibly closing in Brooklyn....anyway.....

BTW, can't they just turn the parking structure by LICH into condo & help the financal situation.

How many hospital are you going to close in city of 8million

Where is the leadership?? Cuomo got pretty much elected w/ zero opposition, hardly listing his position on just about anything.
a Mayor bought a 3rd term, then his mini-me wants to be elected.
You know maybe the GOP is right, who needs Government??
June 26, 2013, 9:31 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Positively disgusting.
June 26, 2013, 9:49 am
ty from pps says:
This just seems odd...
June 26, 2013, 10:30 am
Polygon Crazy from Park Slope says:
It seems to me that nobody is focusing on what the hospital plans to use the new building for. A state of the art outpatient surgery center, endoscopy suite and cancer care facility will be an asset to the community. No one has mentioned that the hospital is the area's largest employer and a cash cow for some of the businesses around here and the community should be doing all it can to make sure it stays that way. Yes, the community will want to make sure that the building isn't an eyesore but Methodist seemed to listen to some of the issues when they built the building that houses Barnes and Noble and RiteAid. More than anything, Methodist needs to address their, and the neighborhood's, parking needs and the constant line of idling ambulances and paratransit vehicles on 6th and 7th Street and 7th Avenue.
June 26, 2013, 10:34 am
Mark from Park Slope says:
All the hospitals that are being discussed for closing are PUBLIC hospitals. Methodist is a PRIVATE hospital. And that's the real heart of the problem.

There seems to be an effort on the part of some folks, maybe named Cuomo, to close public hospitals and depend on private hospitals to expand and fill the void. Privatizing more public services, and we've all seen what that leads to: higher prices and less access. A private hospital can turn away a patient without means to pay unless they are in imminent danger of death. This is an expansion from pay to play to pay to live, and it's disgusting.
June 26, 2013, 11:04 am
Gail from Park Slope says:
NYM is the areas largest SINGLE employer. But their employees are not our neighbors.

Yes, their employees do support some of the businesses in the immediate area, like Subway and Purity Diner. But let's be clear: people don't move to Park Slope to be closer to NYM.

And they never will
June 26, 2013, 11:16 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Any other neighborhood and those buildings pictured would be called tenements
June 26, 2013, 12:42 pm
Rick from PS says:
1. They own those buildings and they are not landmarked, thus they are free to do what they please. Every heard of owners rights? Some of you are some sort of communists where you think you get to tell people what they can and can not do with their own property.

2. LIC hospital is NOT closing, it was reported recently that it's staying open, at least for now.
June 26, 2013, 2:16 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
Hey Rick, we do tell people what they can and cannot do with their properties. It's called LAWS. Only someone like a communist would not know that ...

This is a tough situation. The hospital attempted to eminent domain 7th street in the early 1970's, but was stopped. So, they have always wanted to expand. They probably have the right to tear down these buildings, but man, what a "scar" they are making in a residential neighborhood. On the flip side, it's nice to have a hospital near by when an emergency arises.

I think limiting the height of the new building/buildings would be important and a just compromise.
June 26, 2013, 3:02 pm
Rick from PS says:

Your first sentence makes zero sense since Methodist is operating under the law. They own the buildings and they are not landmarked. What law states that an owner in an unlandmarked district can't build what they like? What law are they breaking? Luckily there is no law against offending Park Slopers, because god knows a Park Sloper will be offended by anything and everything with their delicate sensibility.

Perhaps you'd prefer it if they built an organic birkenstock factory or perhaps a vegan stationary store.
June 26, 2013, 4:13 pm
liza from brooklyn says:
You don't like to see change in this country's largest city? Don't buy on a non-landmarked street. Simple as that. Otherwise, this is NYC and we build up where we can.
June 26, 2013, 4:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I would find it an irony that those who happen to oppose the expansion for Methodist Hospital had no problem when FCR abused eminent domain to place the Barclays Center. Eminent domain is clearly defined as taking property for the use of the public. By such a definition, it has to be something publicly owned such as a public school, government buildings, public housing, electrical or rail substations, rail yards, roads, highways, firehouses, police stations, parks, and especially hospitals. There is probably more to this list than what I am mentioning right now, but I will stop there. However, an arena and along with the rest of the complex, if that ever does get built, is not defined as a public project hence the term eminent domain abuse for using the very process to give to a private owner. Then again, to some it's better to see a neighborhood get demolished for a private developer otherwise it will be a communist takeover if it's for the public, though it could also have been because the AY Complex wasn't in their neighborhood, and they weren't the ones in the path of the wrecking ball hence their support for that.
June 26, 2013, 5:35 pm
ty from pps says:
93 words of babble ---> "but I will stop there" ---> another 100 words of babble.
June 26, 2013, 6:22 pm
24601 from Paris says:
So why is no one asking how they can turn residentially zoned properties into commercial ones?
June 26, 2013, 7:22 pm
ty from pps says:
24601 - there are *a lot* of stages of review for things like this. Also, hospitals aren't commercial for purposes of zoning -- though, that doesn't mean they're exempt from rules and regulations. There's nothing automatic about this and it's certainly not a done deal. But for planning and zoning, hospitals are treated more like churches or schools instead of a new Ikea.
June 26, 2013, 7:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Most hospitals are publicly owned, therefore, they can use eminent domain when needed. As for zoning laws, they apply to property that happens to be privately owned, not publicly owned. Either way, unlike the AY, Willets Point, or even Columbia expansion, this eminent domain wouldn't be an abuse. However, the community can discuss better places to place the expansion if they feel that where NY Methodist Hospital isn't a good one especially when it will involve their tax dollars.
June 26, 2013, 8:34 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal - Shut up. You're stupid and ignorant.

Methodist isn't a public hospital. It's a private, non-profit organization. You also don't understand even the basics, never mind how zoning laws may or may not apply, or eminent domain or anything else.

So, Tal... "The hospital owns four 19th-century row houses on Fifth Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues..." Why are you even talking about eminent domain?! The hospital (public, private or otherwise) OWNS THE PROPERTY. Land use and related variances are a completely different issue... and YES, even public agencies have to comply with land-use rules, regulations and procedures.

Again. SHUT your stupid, ignorant mouth.
June 26, 2013, 10:36 pm
D from Park Slope says:
Everything I've heard and read about NYM is that it's a terrible hospital. Why don't they improve their current facility instead of expanding?
June 27, 2013, 5:43 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
Regardless of differences on this issue, I think we can all agree to have the Brooklyn Paper remove the user ty from pps.

Further, I want to thank ty from pps for reminding all of us what the world would be without civil discourse.

And can we all agree to stop alleging communism upon each other? I will be the first to apologize to Rick for throwing his allegation back in his face. I wish I was a communist, but instead, I am just a greedy capitalist. Both are not impressive.
June 27, 2013, 11:27 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
D, if they had the space to do that within their own building, they would have done that a while ago. There is the possibility of their being not much space for what they want, so they may have to use an expansion. On a side note, I do agree with what Charles had to say about ty, and I second the motion on removing him especially for his hostilities towards others especially at me, though I do fee that he should take a breather from any message board or forum, because it seems to make very vulgar, and it does question me if he is like this in real life. At least, I don't make personal attacks on those who disagree with me or call them ignorant even if I feel that they are wrong.
June 27, 2013, 5:10 pm
A from PPW says:
Maybe Methodist should leave the front shell of the buildings as is, and gut the inside and add some height to accommodate their needs.
July 1, 2013, 9:18 am
Jenet Levy from Park Slope says:
I am extremely against Methodist knocking down any brownstones. The reason there are designated historic districts is to preserve what can never be brought back. The architecture of Park Slope is what brought it to life in the late 70s/early 80s, which then gradually made adjoining neighborhoods improve like dominoes ever since. They should find somewhere else for satellite buildings instead of in the heart of one of the most aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods of NYC.
July 6, 2013, 5:12 pm

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