We Need a Hospital!

Dear George,

Good to see you’re still fighting the good fight. I refer, of course, to your front-page article in January’s WestView News … “Our Kids Need A Hospital.”

I have been hemming and hawing about the need for a hospital to serve Greenwich Village, the West Village and points south for over ten years, ever since St. Vincent’s was shut down to make way for the construction of luxury condominiums. I had written to local, state and federal officials concerning the lack of a hospital for Westsiders like us, to no avail. It seems, as the saying goes, money talks. In this case, the real estate industry holds sway over the needs of the general community.

I like your approach in appealing to Steven Cohen’s deep pockets and how the lack of a hospital might adversely affect the lives of his young children. What Mr. Cohen doesn’t know is that there is no hospital on the West Side of Manhattan south of Tenth Avenue and 59th Street! And, as I can attest, Northwell Health’s “Stand Alone Emergency Department” at 13th Street and Seventh Avenue does not a hospital make. It would be wonderful if this billionaire were to lead an effort to put his charity dollars, (possibly along with Mr. Diller, Ms. Von Furstenberg and other like-minded billionaires) to good use by bringing a full-service hospital to our community where one is desperately needed. I, for one, would be willing to contribute to this cause; and I am not a billionaire!

Mr. Cohen could be the billionaire who, instead of offering other billionaires and celebrities ten minute roller-coaster rides to the stratosphere, would be able to leave a living legacy to celebrate both his success and generosity. How refreshing!

Siggy Raible, 40-Year Greenwich Village Resident


Conspiracy Theories Full Blown

In the past few months WestView has become the Mad Comics of the 9/11 conspiracy world with inspired eruditions from the thoughful minds of George Capsis, Brian Pape, Craig McKee and J. Taylor Basker regarding the plots that led to the total destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Not just Buildings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, but every single structure previously standing on the site. We have seen the cloak lifted on “controlled demolitions, multi-colored clouds surrounding the towers on 9/10, strange men carrying heavy bags who never spoke to anyone, and went into locked hallways and may have been involved in planting explosives that brought the buildings down.” What could possess WestView in publishing such garbage? Why does George so badly want to join Barbara Honegger’s Committee of Lawyers, Architects and Engineers to become a leading voice of the Conspiracy Theorists?

He or someone with a mind as thoughtful and intelligent as his will have to answer a host of relevant questions: How did the bombers know when the hijacked airliners were going to crash into the North and South Towers with their cargo dumping 20,000 gallons of highly flammable jet fuel? Who paid for the contracts for bomb placement? In which buildings were the bombs placed? When were they placed and over how long a period of time?

It is time now. WestView cannot any longer hide behind paranoid and delusional innuendoes. Speak up conspirators or forever hold your peace.

—Barry Benepe


Steve Jacobs

Steve Jacobs and I went to Pratt’s School of architecture in the 1960’s. We did several joint projects together One of the most memorable projects was one that we did for Sibyl Moholy-Nagy.  Sibyl was the wife of the painter László Moholy-Nagy and they were part of the famous Bauhaus school.  She felt our architectural training was lacking a cultural component so she started a series of seminars where she would assign Proy-ucts (projects), she had a strong German accent, to teams of students.  Steve and I were paired together with another fellow who never showed up while we were working on our project, but he did show up for our presentation. We were good guys and were willing to give him a free ride.  We thought he would just sit quietly I the background while we presented our project.  Oh no!  He jumped in and started talking.  He totally did not understand what Sibyl wanted and with a few badly chosen words destroyed our project and our grades. 

So on Sibyl’s next assignment Steve and I were determined to redeem ourselves.The project was on “Art Nouveau.” Sibyl believed that Architects should be able to make architectural sketches. So Steve and I went to the library and made a large drawing of a famous Art Nouveau interior and then made many small sketches of details.  Then we built a large hinged box with lights and many switches.  We could illuminate a detail and also spotlight it’s location on our large interior drawing.  We hit a home run.  She really liked it and showed it other Pratt architects and even to an Austrian architect friend of hers who was not part of Pratt.   

After graduation I was working for Jim Polshek and Sibyl came for a meeting with Polshek.  She saw me and told Jim, with her deep German accent said “He and his friend were some of my Best Schtu-dents (students)!”

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