Rockaway Courthouse has sat empty for decades, but plans are now in the works to give it new life as a much-needed hospital in a community that faced the 2012 closure of a major health center, not to mention the blows of Hurricane Sandy. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Economic Development Corporation recently announced that developer Harmony Group will resurrect the abandoned 24,000-square-foot historic building and use the structure to establish a multi-specialty ambulatory center. The rehabilitated building is expected to house medical tenants and outpatient surgical services that will include ophthalmology, urology, obstetrics, gynecology, and orthopedics.
“For over 30 years, the Rockaway Courthouse has sat vacant, a profound waste of this beautiful building,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “But today we have selected a developer who will not only renovate the space and return it to its former glory, but also turn it into a medical center. With the recent closure of a major nearby private hospital, this will help improve access to important medical care.”
The courthouse was built in 1932 but hasn’t seen any traffic since it was abandoned in the 1970s. The abandoned structure is marred by deteriorating cornices, faded paintings and crumbled plaster moldings, and plants and soil that overrun the original terrazzo flooring. The Harmony Group plans to undertake the gut restoration needed to transform the three story, Greco-Roman style building into a state-of-the-art medical center, keeping the building’s distinctive marble and limestone exterior. The total project is expected to cost more than $10 million.
The announcement of the rehabilitation builds off of the City’s efforts to continue providing aid and services to the Rockaways hardest hit by Sandy. Though the new medical center won’t be quite as large as the closed Peninsula hospital, it will feature a local consortium of ten physicians that will provide much needed healthcare services to the local community.
Via NYC Gov