One good thing to come of the substitution of a hospital serving the whole downtown community with homogenous housing for the wealthy is St. Vincent’s Triangle Park, [...] home to the nearly completed New York City AIDS Memorial [...]
Real estate plays an outsize role in most New York stories. In the story of AIDS, it has become crucial to understanding both the way that the city handled, or mishandled, the crisis in its early days and the way that the crisis forever marked the city in return. — New Yorker
To mark the opening of the new New York City AIDS Memorial designed by Studio ai, Alexandra Schwartz reflects on the complicated relationship between the epidemic, the gay activist community, and real estate.
"The disease started charting its course through the city just as the bearish real-estate market, coaxed out of hibernation by policies favorable to developers, turned relentlessly bullish," Schwartz writes. "As people died, their same-sex partners, denied the sorts of survivor benefits to which a spouse would be entitled, were evicted from the homes they had shared; newly vacated blocks of affordable apartments were converted into high-end condos and market-rate rentals."
In fact, according to the article, the neighborhoods of Manhattan that had the highest rates of HIV infection later experienced the most rapid gentrification.
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