Hospital Renovation: Gramercy Square

The Cabrini Medical Center is getting a facelift. Architecture firm Woods Bagot is responsible for the new design that aims to transform an eyesore into bragging rights for Gramercy. Woods Bagot invests 2% of its annual turnover into research, so current (and future) residents of Gramercy can anticipate some truly innovative designs. The project spans from 224-228 East 20th Street and 209-225 East 19th Street. YIMBY writes, “the old Cabrini Medical Center closed back in 2008, and its conversion into apartments represents a natural transition for the hulking structure.” The medical center was forced to close because there wasn’t enough money to pay its employees. “A hospital that is not financially viable cannot serve its patients well,” said Claudia Hutton, former spokeswoman for the state Health Department. Memorial Sloan-Kettering sold the hospital to developer Chetrit Group for more than $150 million. The hospital originally paid $83 million for the five-building complex a few years prior.

Curbed revealed the initial renderings for the conversions in 2013, noting that one commenter said “I walk by here every day and it creeps me out. [I] would never want to live here.” Since then, the renderings have undergone some design changes. The initial design plans had several stop work orders and safety violations, though progress seems to be in motion again.

In place of old Cabrini, there will be four structures of varying sizes that make up “Gramercy Square”.

The largest, at 209-225 East 19th Street, will have 140 units and will be 16 stories tall.

The two buildings at 228 East 20th Street and 227 East 19th Street will have 54 units each, and the smallest building at 224 East 20th Street will have eight full-floor apartments.

The big changes will be to the exteriors; 209-225 East 19th Street will replace the tiny windows with enormous glass panes and a facade of limestone and brick. 228 East 20th Street will be built from scratch. The project has been in the works since 2013, and is tentatively scheduled to be completed in 2016.