Mural Pavilion opens at Harlem Hospital

Harlem Hospital Center Executive Director Denise C. Soares.
Photo by Gideon Manasseh.
Photo Credit: Gideon Manasseh

Under the theme: “Respecting The Past, Embracing The Future,” Harlem Hospital Center, a member of the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) and the Generations+Northern Manhattan Health Network held a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Mural Pavilion, located on 136th Street and Lenox Avenue. The new six-floor, 195, 000-square foot pavilion connects two major hospital buildings: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Pavilion and the Ron H. Brown Ambulatory Care Pavilion.

The $325 million building with state-of-the-art technology enhances access to preventive health care, emergency room care and specialty care, and marks the completion of the main construction phase for one of the largest major public hospital modernization projects in the city’s history, and one the Harlem community so desperately needed. Services at The Pavilion will also address the community’s high rates of asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and stroke.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Health Services Linda I. Gibbs joined Harlem Hospital Center Executive Director Denise C. Soares, HHC’s new Global Ambassador Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel, State Sen. Bill Perkins, State Assemb. Keith Wright, City Councilwoman Inez Dickens and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for the historic event.

“Harlem Hospital Center is the medical facility of choice for this community and with the opening of the Mural Pavilion, we’re giving this community the respect and level of healthcare it deserves,” the executive director said.

The mayor said the renovation not only will continue the Harlem Hospital legacy for future generations, but also will “help us meet our commitment to reducing health disparities and meeting the health needs of all New Yorkers in a beautiful, welcoming environment.”

The Mural Pavilion also features a special public art gallery space to showcase the hospital’s historic Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project (WPA). For 70 years, Harlem Hospital Center has had the district honor of hosting an extraordinary collection of 1936 The Works Progress Administration Federal Art Program (WPA), commissioned five African American artists: Vertis Hayes, Charles Alston, Elba Lightfoot, Selma Day and George Seabrooks to paint murals at Harlem Hospital Center: .

The HHC has worked with the community, conservators and architects to develop a plan to preserve remove and reinstall these national treasures and incorporate them into the design of the Mural Pavilion.

HHC President Alan D. Aviles said, “HHC made a commitment to this community and today we are pleased to present the new Harlem-a modern hospital with a therapeutic environment for patients and the efficient design that helps our highly skilled, deeply committed staff provide safe, high quality care for Harlem residents.”

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