Sunday, November 13, 2011

Smith Infirmary - all things must pass

   According to the Advance the other day, the old heart of the original Staten Island Hospital, the Smith Infirmary, is about to end its days.  After thirty years of neglect it's been deemed unsound and unsafe by HPD and the Buildings Dept.
   I am of mixed emotions about the matter.  It's sad that such a magnificent building has been allowed to go to ruin but then it is a dangerous site that could simply collapse.    
   The city did nothing to preserve it but then it really had no obligation to do so.  It was a piece of private property sold to a private developer.
   That the developer appears to have been a con artist and the condos actually built in the newer building were ultimately abandoned is not the city's fault either.
  If it goes, which is most likely, I'll miss it.  It's been part of my landscape my entire life (literally - I was born in the old hospital).  Growing up and living on Cebra Avenue most of my life its literally been in my line of sight more days than not.  One of my earliest posts was about the old hospital and my friends and my exploration of the abandoned complex.  But it's what happens.  We can document the past, even fetishize it, but we can't stop it from becoming the past.
 

3 comments:

benbenberi said...

It's sad that such a great old building should have been neglected to this point. Another bit of the past gone to dust...

The Wasp said...

There's got to be a willingness to spend the money to preserve it and find a function for it. Just declaring it a landmark and forcing the owner to do the heavy lifting is only a killer. But it is indeed sad to see it go.

Anonymous said...

I was born there too