Back to list
New York 2044: Housing

New York 2044: Alex Strada

June 3, 2024
Reported from the imagination of, Alex Strada – Public Artist-in-Residence with the New York City Department of Homeless Services

Scroll to the bottom to see Alex’s real estate coming of age story in comic form.


Famed Hospital of the AIDS Crisis to Become Supportive Housing

New York, NY – May 5, 2044 – In a poignant return to its roots, the former St. Vincent’s Hospital in the heart of the West Village will support New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. This groundbreaking move comes after years of relentless pressure from the “Village for All” intergenerational alliance, a powerful coalition uniting longtime residents with youthful activists.

Read More

Since St. Vincent’s closure in 2010, largely vacant luxury apartments have occupied the building. It will now serve a far more critical purpose. All non-primary residence units have been purchased by the city’s innovative “Haven + Hope” supportive housing program, a wing of the newly formed and cash-infused Social Housing Authority. This program goes beyond just providing shelter; it offers a holistic approach, with on-site counseling, childcare, job training, and even a rooftop garden program. The ground floor will be transformed into an art space showcasing the work of formerly unhoused artists alongside established figures.

Alex Strada, the program’s inaugural art space facilitator, brings a unique perspective. An Artist-in-Residence with the Department of Homeless Services for over two decades, she grew up on this very block during the harrowing years of the AIDS crisis. “My parents’ friends included many artists and ACT UP activists,” she recalls. “Those same New Yorkers, some now in their late 90s, have never stopped engaging with the needs of the city. But no site held more symbolic value than St. Vincent’s.”

Founded in 1949, St. Vincent’s became “ground zero” for treating AIDS patients in the 1980s, the first East Coast hospital to embrace this then-devastating illness. Thousands of patients found not just medical care, but compassion and dignity within its walls.

A 1987 New York Times article captured the essence of St. Vincent’s spirit: “Sister Patrice is besieged by questions… ‘What will it be like to die?’ her patients ask. ‘Will I be brave enough?’… I tell them we will stand on our heads to make them as comfortable as humanly possible.”

St. Vincent’s unwavering commitment to serving the poor and marginalized continued until its closure in 2010. Sister Miriam Kevin Phillips, a nurse who served at the hospital, offered a poignant explanation for its demise: “St. Vincent’s was defeated by its devotion to the poor… the Village transformed from a home for immigrants and the working class to a neighborhood filled with wealthy people.”

“Today, St. Vincent’s legacy is reclaimed,” says Strada. “The fight by the ‘Village for All’ alliance proves that intergenerational solidarity can achieve remarkable things. There is so much soul and wisdom in this city—so much powerful experience gained from the battles fought. And  St. Vincent’s is a monument to all this. The ghosts of patients who found solace within these walls can rest easy knowing their fight for dignity continues.”


Alex’s Story

Alex’s real estate coming of age story in comic form, by Noah Fischer.


Alex Strada (she/her) is a multimedia artist and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. Through film/video, installation, sound and orality, performance, and public art, her socially-engaged artworks explore collectivity, critical legal studies, and political transformation. Her projects often involve transdisciplinary collaboration with scholars, activists, organizations, artists, and students. Currently, Strada serves as the inaugural Public Artist-in-Residence with the New York City Department of Homeless Services and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

New York 2044

This article is a part of New York 2044, a newspaper that proposes the city we want to inhabit in 2044, and how to get there. A project by Noah Fischer, commissioned by More Art. Read more about the project here.