Lenox Hill Healthplex
The former headquarters of the National Maritime Union, originally designed by Albert C. Ledner and completed in 1963, has been transformed into the Lenox Hill HealthPlex, an innovative neighborhood medical complex anchored by Manhattan’s first freestanding emergency department, which opened in July. Prior to being acquired by the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the building was threatened with demolition. Following advocacy efforts by a coalition including DOCOMOMO US New York/Tri-State, it was saved.
The scalloped façade of the distinctive 6-story structure, originally named the Joseph Curran Building in honor of the union’s founder, resembles a row of portholes. Architect Albert C. Ledner, who designed buildings across the country for the NMU, studied as a fellow with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. One of few buildings in New York City clearly showing Wright’s influence, it later became the Edward and Theresa O’Toole Medical Services Building of St. Vincent’s Hospital.
The design of the adaptive re-use sought to restore the original exterior appearance to the greatest extent possible while meeting the complex programmatic needs of the new healthcare facility. It was developed through extensive dialog with the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and the New York State Historic Preservation Office. Thorough research of the original design included meeting with Albert Ledner, reviewing original documents in the Ledner Archive at Tulane University and extensive materials testing.
This special tour focusing on the historic preservation aspects of the HealthPlex project will be led by key project team members including Alex Hellinger, Executive Director, Lenox Hill HealthPlex, Frank C. Gunther, AIA, Principal of Perkins Eastman, and others. The tour will visit certain interiors but not the emergency department. This event is being held in conjunction with Docomomo US Tour Day 2014 and Archtober. Capacity is limited