Over the last few weeks and months, as St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan teetered into bankruptcy, many of its 3,500 employees were laid off. But about 1,500 of them returned to the red brick hospital building on West 12th Street on Friday for one last time, to say goodbye. * * *Killed by gentrification: the affluent types who can afford to live in the Village now, go elsewhere for hospital care.
The hospital officially shut its doors at 8 a.m. Friday when it stopped taking even walk-in emergency room patients. As if to make the point crystal clear, the emergency room entrance was boarded up, the bare plywood covered by a poster that looked like a tombstone printed with the hospital’s name and the years of its birth and death: 1849-2010.
The last patients left in the hospital complex, built for more than 700, were 18 people in the Pax Christi Hospice, who have been allowed to remain.
“It’s a sisterhood, it’s a family, it’s a great place to work, for many of us,” Mary McGinn, a nurse and vice president of patient flow, said after the Mass.
She broke down and cried as she described how she had come to St. Vincent’s to work as a 21-year-old and stayed there to witness the crime and drug casualties of the 1970s, the mystifying and terrifying AIDS plague of the ’80s and ’90s and the terrorist attack of 2001.
... The particular St. Vincent it was named after is St. Vincent de Paul, a French priest of the 17th century who, one suspects, would have found little to appreciate in Millay's work.