The owners of the space that will house New York's AIDS Memorial Park have rejected a design plan from a grassroots coalition that has been at the forefront of advocating a memorial of the city's victims of AIDS.
Rudin Management owns the triangular space at Seventh and Greenwich avenues, which has has been a source of controversy and speculation since the former occupier of the space, St. Vincent's Hospital, closed last year. Rudin Management expressed a willingness to work with the grassroots AIDS Memorial Park Coalition and the local community board concerning the property. Out of 8,000 submissions, the Coalition chose "The Infinite Forest," by Brooklyn design firm Studio a+1. The firm described their submission as a simple park of birch trees surrounded by three mirrored walls.
Hours later, Rudin Management cited potential construction delays as the primary reason for rejecting Studio a+1's design. Instead, Rudin Management CEO and Vice Chairman Bill Rudin announced plans to move ahead with the company's own design by landscape architect Rick Parisi.
“Our neighborhood park design...allows for a commemoration of both those affected by the AIDS epidemic and of St. Vincent’s Hospital for its 160 years of service to the community and its steadfast commitment to care for those suffering from HIV/AIDS," Rudin said in a statement, DNAInfo reports.
St. Vincent’s Hospital is considered by many to be ground zero in the AIDS epidemic. A major grassroots effort has been in the works to honor more than 100,000 people who have died of the disease in New York City (many at the infamous St. Vincent’s 7th Floor AIDS Ward). --Brett Edward Stout