Crowds Turn Out In Defense of Village

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REPORTER: Last night, more than 400 people attended the first public hearing on a plan by St. Vincent's Hospital to sell off half of its Greenwich Village campus.

A private developer would demolish the complex on the eastern side of 7th Avenue to make way for a 21-story condominium tower.

St. Vincent's would then use the profits to modernize its facilities. It would consolidate its operations in an even taller building on the other side of the street.

Most of last night's crowd was against the proposal, including Andrew Berman, head of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

BERMAN: The 2 big buildings that they're proposing to build, aside from 1 of them being the largest building ever built in Greenwich Village, believe it or not would actually be the 2 largest buildings ever approved in any historic district in New York City.

REPORTER: The Landmarks Preservation Commission will look at St. Vincent's plan in March.