The battle is on to dissuade — or prevent — Mt. Sinai Health System from closing the historic New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, which it’s likely to sell to a developer after it scatters the Infirmary’s units to the Manhattan winds.
A group of doctors, preservationists and elected officials have set a press conference for Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Village Preservation at 232 E. 11th St. to demand city action to block the plan.
The Post first reported on June 15 of Mt. Sinai’s apparent goal of breaking up the 200-year-old Infirmary’s departments, including its surgical and clinical units, and relocating them to other Mt. Sinai facilities around Manhattan.
Infirmary insiders had told us that Mount Sinai was stealthily moving physicians, lab facilities and other departments out of the building so that it could clear the deck for a possible sale.
We reported that a sale of the historic, century-old building at 218 Second Ave. and a more modern one next door at 310 E. 14th St. which is also part of the Infirmary could fetch up to $70 million based on current values for residential development.
One doctor said at the time, “Mount Sinai is going to close this building and make whatever they can on it.”
Crain’s recently carried details of how Mt. Sinai would relocate Infirmary units, but the hospital system again declined to comment on its plans for 218 Second Ave.
The weathered, old building was the setting for the memorable scene in “The Godfather” where Al Pacino rescues Marlon Brando’s Don Corleone character from assassination.
A city landmark designation would prevent a new owner from demolishing the structure.
Tuesday’s press conference will be attended by Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation director Andrew Berman, Infirmary doctors and staff members, District 74 state Assembly Member Harvey Epstein and other elected officials.