Many Staten Islanders appreciate the architecture of the Neo-medieval style building and/or remembers the rich history of the building, refer to it as the Staten Island Castle. It has been a fixture in the community for 120 years and was built by NYC Architect Alfred E. Barlow in 1890. The four turreted structure was named in honor of its benefactor, Dr. George Frost, who donated the 6.5 acres and an additional $86,0000 for benefit of the S.R. Smith Infirmary. The Frost Memorial Tower is the former headquarters of today’s S.I. University Hospital.
The Who’s who of Staten Island established the complex as the ‘island’s first public charity’ to serve the poor and sick. The complex was originally named after Dr. Samuel R. Smith , who served the sick and poor from his home in Tompkinsville and later at the Quarantine. The work of Dr. Samuel R. Smith, Dr. Anderson, and many others , evolved into what became the S.R. Infirmary, later renamed Staten Island Hospital For more historic background on the S.R. Smith Infirmary visit my Blog.
This property was a failed condo development in the early 1980s which created a legal mess with many tax liens. It entire site has been a community eyesore for three decades.
The Save the S.I. Castle Committee believes that most Staten Islanders consider this building a ‘community’ landmark, despite its dormancy for three decades. Many Staten Islanders were born here or worked here. It is a rare survivor of a prosperous New Brighton community and demonstrates the architectural style used for institutional buildings in the late 1800s.
The Save the S.I. Castle Committee urges the adaptive reuse of the historic 1890 ‘castle’ and community planning for the 6.5 acres. The Committee has no official position on the future use of the site, only that it be a community benefit , as it was originally intended, as a public hospital in 1890.
Who is the Save the S.I. Castle Committee?
The Committee is made up concerned citizens, advocating the preservation and adaptive reuse of the ‘castle’ . The Committee will work to ensure community involvement in the redevelopment plans. The building has been nominated for NYC landmark status. ONLY the Frost Memorial Tower building, which was sealed by HPD and exhibits many original EXTERIOR features.
What would Castleton Avenue look like without a Castle? Many Staten Islanders consider the ’SI Castle’ a Community Landmark. The NYC landmark status will ensure that the building is fitted into the planned housing development. It could be a community center, school or any other community use. Without landmarking of this building, it could be demolished and the development of the site could be completely cleared. We would have less community input on the redevelopment of the site.
Reduce Waste in Landfills: We believe that Landmarking reduces waste and the other buildings should be studied for renovation, rather than demolition. Less debris in the landfills benefits all of us. Considering we had the largest garbage dump for 30 years on Staten Islanders, we should be concerned with green building practices. It benefits our community and future generations.
We Need Your Support!
If you understand how landmarking can ensure the building will be part of the redevelopment of the site, please tell a friend and send a letter, email or call to express your support!
Contact: the NYC Landmark Commission know: Email NYC Landmark Commission firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 669-7879.
The Save the Staten Island Castle Committee:
Join us to Reclaim and Restore the former Staten Island Hospital - Frost Memorial Tower Building
Show your support!
I support Landmarking the Frost Memorial Tower, former Staten Island Hospital. It is a community landmark and should be officially designated a NYC Landmark and part of the city’s redevelopment plan for the site.
Landmarks Preservation Commission
Councilwoman Debi Rose
120 Stuyvesant Place
Staten Island, NY 10301
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HELP SAVE THE CASTLE!
Donate $10, $25, $50, $100
We will hire a Structural Engineer for the Old Smith Infirmary.
If you would like to please send to:
Pay to : PLSI
Save the S.I. Castle Fund
54 Port Richmond Ave
Staten island, NY 10302
The Preservation League of Staten Island is a 501 c (3) not for profit organization and the official sponsor of the Save the S.I. Castle Committee.
Completely Tax Deductable!
Read Jim Ferreri's wonderful article on Alice Austin-SI Advance-Home Section,
which mentions the SI Castle- S.R. Smith Infirmary: