145-ft. phone tower sited at Seaview Hospital

Tower moved to new location to diminish impact. The Health and Hospitals Corporation sought Landmarks approval to construct a 132- foot telecommunications tower and an equipment building on the northeastern grounds of Seaview Hospital in Staten Island. The Seaview Hospital complex was, at the time of its 1905-38 construction, the largest and most costly tuberculosis hospital in rowthe country. It was sensitively designed to preserve the rural landscape along a 230-acre portion of Todt Hill by tucking building structures behind slope changes. Adjacent to the hospital is the 90-acre New York City Farm Colony, a complex of buildings used from 1829 to 1975 as the Richmond County poorhouse. In 1985, Landmarks designated both sites, including the buildings and grounds, as Staten Island’s first historic district. The buildings on both grounds are largely vacant and several are severely deteriorated.

HHC, in its application to Landmarks, proposed to camouflage the tower as a 132-foot flagpole flanking the hospital’s entrance driveway. Landmarks objected to the prominent location of the phone tower, suggesting that it be moved away from the hospital’s main entrance along Brielle Avenue. At a second hearing on May 17, 2005, HHC stated that it sought the “most remote space” for the tower and proposed a wooded southwest portion of the grounds. Two new proposed designs included a 125-foot phone tower painted dark brown and a 130-foot tower disguised with tree branches. Landmarks noted its approval of the new location, but suggested painting the tower pale grey to further minimize its impact.

Voting to approve, Landmarks found that the tower’s new location, pale grey color and the equipment building’s low height would minimize the impact to the historic buildings. The final permit approved a 145-foot tower and a 3,375-square foot equipment building bounded by a chain link fence.

LPC: 460 Brielle Avenue (COFA# 06- 0057) (July 19, 2005). CITYADMIN


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