Joseph P. Bottini, April 27, 2019
Everyone, including officials at MVHC know the St. Luke’s site is best for a new “hospital complex.”
A few reasons making that location best are: space (64 acres opposed to 25 acres downtown), heliport in place, power plant in place, infrastructure in place, bucolic setting, (as opposed to being in the middle of a recreation district), nursing home and rehabilitation on site, easy arterial access. Also: Utica College, Utica Business Park with Slocum-Dickson Clinic (including much office space) hotel, small shopping center (with restaurant-drugstore-grocery store), mini-mart for emergency needs, auto repair garage, and stand-alone restaurant all within walking distance.
Hospital at downtown location would further destroy historic places that have been underdeveloped including: residence location of Daniel Butterfield (co-author of TAPS), residence location of Theodore Faxton (promoter of telegraph and Associated Press both founded at meetings at this location), segment of Rome Street (becoming Lafayette Street named in honor of General Lafayette’s visit in 1825), existing structure of Utica Street Railway Company, existing building of former German athletic club, location of final home Smauel Beckwith (civil war telegrapher for General Grant and President Lincoln), Erie Canal-Chenango Canal juncture (which led to the birth and growth of the world’s leading textile industry) and many buildings of significant architectural importance.
With a parking garage in the project, an ugly concrete structure would further impede a beautiful cityscape/skyline view from the arterial. If this is difficult to imagine, the monstrosity bridge over Bagg’s Square will bring this problem into focus.
Yes, there must be a reason for the (otherwise intelligent) folks making this decision to favor the Lafayette-Columbia neighborhood. In view of all of the above, I can’t elucidate enough to come up with what it is. To trade a full “healthcare complex” including: (schools of nursing, phlebotomy, radiology, x-ray technology, as well as clinics (sleep, kidney dialysis and others) for a stand-alone hospital is enough information to make this decision sophomoric at best, if not shortsighted and idiotic. The only conclusion is, “I am not privileged to know the information that propels this foolish project forward.”
Email: Joseph P. Bottini, Oneida County Historian
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