Don Corleone narrowly escaped getting whacked in his hospital mattress — however the historic medical constructing the place it was staged may not be so fortunate.
The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary within the East Village, a part of Mount Sinai Well being System, could be bought and demolished for a brand new constructing, frightened medical doctors and employees members instructed The Publish.
The 1902 constructing at 218 Second Ave., between East thirteenth and 14th streets — which was the setting for Al Pacino’s rescue of Marlon Brando in “The Godfather” — is on the middle of a three-way drama involving medical care, historic preservation and a possible actual property windfall. (Pacino himself has truly been a affected person there lately, insiders mentioned.)
Mount Sinai merged with the Infirmary’s former proprietor, Continuum Well being, in 2013, and has exercised growing management of Eye and Ear ever since, sources mentioned.
Within the curiosity of “streamlining” and lowering prices, Mount Sinai is progressively transferring surgical procedure, medical, ambulatory and different departments to places it has round Manhattan — a declare which Sinai didn’t dispute.
Some medical doctors mentioned the stealthy course of will spoil the “synergy” of getting all of the capabilities in a single spot and diminish affected person care.
They worry that Mount Sinai will finally empty the outdated constructing and an adjoining one constructed within the Sixties at 310 E. 14th St. to clear the way in which for a profitable sale to a developer.
One physician who didn’t need to be named mentioned, “Mount Sinai goes to shut this constructing and make no matter they will on it.”
Conscious that Mount Sinai’s plans endangered the constructing, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation director Andrew Berman wrote to Mayor Eric Adams and Landmarks Preservation Fee chair Sarah Carroll final month to induce designating 218 Second Ave. as a metropolis landmark.
He was joined by State Sen. Brad Hoylman and Meeting member Harvey Shapiro. Landmarking would stop an proprietor from demolishing or altering the constructing with out LPC approval.
The Infirmary buildings in danger take up about 35,000 sq. toes of land. The location is zoned for residential improvement with ground area of as much as six instances the bottom space — which means a new constructing might have as much as 210,000 sq. toes of ground space.
Primarily based on a median of current Manhattan gross sales of residential air area of $250-350 per sq. foot, the Infirmary-owned land might fetch within the neighborhood of $70 million, actual property sources mentioned.
Sources mentioned that the Infirmary would possibly lose in extra of $20 million this 12 months.
One insider mentioned that Mount Sinai has been “surgically chopping up” the Infirmary for greater than a 12 months. The variety of working rooms is being diminished from 18 to 9.
Dr. Douglas F. Buxton has practiced eye surgical procedure on the Infirmary since 1983. He mentioned, “They’re successfully evicting me” by the top of 2024.
He lamented the “fragmenting” of a “self-contained facility for eye ailments on one campus the place all of the subspecialties had been in a single constructing, which was distinctive.”
Mount Sinai declined to answer questions on its plans for the Infirmary buildings and whether or not it could help landmarking 218 Second Ave., a weathered however good-looking six-story construction of stone and brick the place Helen Keller delivered the dedication speech in 1902.
However in a current video convention for senior employees, Infirmary president Dr. James Tsai mentioned relocations deliberate for Eye and Ear’s surgical procedure division, college observe, emergency room, analysis amenities and different models to Manhattan satellite tv for pc websites owned by Sinai. They embody the Beth Israel campus on First Avenue at seventeenth Avenue, 1115 Broadway and 10 Union Sq. East.
“All that is being achieved very stealthily, a sluggish roll,” an insider mentioned. “They don’t need to draw consideration to it. While you scatter all of the capabilities, it isn’t actually New York Eye and Ear any extra.”
Joseph Burkart, a former Infirmary board chairman who stays in shut contact with physicians there, mentioned that breaking apart the Infirmary “destroys what was an important hospital for tons of of hundreds of New Yorkers.”
He mentioned that spreading the Infirmary’s models round city signifies that “individuals will now not be coming to a hospital, however to a small facility [elsewhere] with a couple of medical doctors. The inter-departmental synergy that the Infirmary has at all times supplied shall be misplaced.”
Stated one other at the moment working towards physician, “They’ve alienated individuals to make them depart. Some massive surgeons have left. I believe their purpose is to weaken the establishment to allow them to say they’ve to shut.”