By Brian J. Pape
The West Village’s St. Vincent’s Triangle Park will soon welcome a new AIDS memorial on the site where a hospital facility once stood. The new park opened last summer and the Memorial is slated to be unveiled in time for World AIDS Day on December 1, 2016, one year after its projected completion date.
Brooklyn-based Studio a+i, with the Robert Silman Associates structural engineers, won a competition to design the Memorial in 2012. The design showcases the New York City AIDS Memorial in the park’s northwestern point. Over the years, the scheme was simplified at the request of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the NYC Parks Department, partly to avoid the temptation for humans of all ages to climb up and over it. An angular canopy structure 18 feet tall covers a circular water feature. In March 2015, the Memorial’s planners announced that artist Jenny Holzer will also contribute to the project by inscribing 8,992 words from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself into paving stones spiraling around the Memorial’s water feature.
New York City has another AIDS memorial in the Hudson River Park at West 11th Street but this new one will be more strongly connected to the hospital that treated so many dying AIDS patients.
The triangular block at 7th and Greenwich Avenues and West 12th Street has been deeded to the City as a concession to the community, by developers Rudin
Management, Eyal Ofer and Global Holdings as part of their “Greenwich Lane” development. The Greenwich Lane is a $1 billion real estate project with average prices of $3,500 per square foot. There are about 200 residences in the towers and townhouses.
The developers agreed to cover the cost of the $10 million new park. Designed by New York City-based M. Paul Friedberg & Partners (MPFP), the 16,000-square-foot park is a composition of curving benches, colorful plantings, and numerous trees. The NYC Parks Department maintains the park grounds.
Financed by the NYC AIDS Memorial, and according to the group’s founders Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn, construction of the Memorial and associated educational programs will cost about $4 million.