Curran O’Toole Building

Icons at Risk

O'Toole
St. Vincent's wants to tear down nine Greenwich Village buildings, including Albert C. Ledner's 1964 O'Toole Building, formerly known as the Joseph Curran Buiding, headquarters of the National Maritime Union.

Credit: Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Curran O'Toole Building

Location: New York City

Architect: Albert C. Ledner

Year: 1963

Designed as the headquarters for the National Maritime Union and now a part of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, this midcentury classic, set in historic Greenwich Village, is one of the most flamboyant in New York. With cantilevered levels and a facade covered in tiny white tiles, the structure is a playful anomaly among more sober neighbors, its highly expressive style reminiscent of buildings by Edward Durell Stone. It is also massive, spanning an entire city block. In 1964, architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable wrote, "There is no reason why the [National Maritime Union] could not have … added another cheap, dull, routine box with a shiny facade and a big sign to the New York scene...It decided, instead, to go for architecture. Whatever reservations may be held, New York needs more of those decisions." Today, the financially beleaguered Saint Vincent's wants to construct a new, more manageable hospital on the site, leaving the fate of Albert Ledner's building in doubt. 

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