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Three Examples

That’s a view from the pergola at the Conservatory Garden in Central Park looking east to (on the left) the Terrance Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center and (on the right) El Museo del Barrio. The garden, the hospital, and the museum are each a different form of adaptive reuse.

The Conservatory Garden is the most obvious example of adaptation of the three. This piece of land was originally used for a greenhouse to raise plants for the park and so was off-limits to the public. That was replaced by a greenhouse conservatory that was open to the public, and then in the 1930s the greenhouse was replaced by an open formal garden.

The hospital was built in 1920 as the Fifth Avenue Hospital, which had absorbed several smaller institutions – the most well-known of which was the Flower Memorial Hospital. The change to its current status did not involve any physical changes, but the hospital has been undergoing a campaign of repairs and modernization for the last several years, for which Old Structures has provided structural engineering services.

Finally the museum building was constructed as The Heckscher Foundation for Children, and converted to museum use in the 1970s.

Everything can be reused. Everything. It just takes will and a plan.