The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. heralded the opening on Thursday of the $325 million Harlem Hospital Center Mural Pavilion as "one of the largest major public hospital modernization projects in the city's history."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Health and Hospitals Corp. President Alan Aviles and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs were on hand at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the 195,000-square-foot facility, according to a news release. Also present was hip-hop artist Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean, Health and Hospitals Corp.'s recently appointed "global ambassador."
The Mural Pavilion derives its name from the art commissioned by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression that hangs in the new space. The murals were the first major government commissions given to black artists.
The six-story structure houses facilities for outpatient visits, intensive care, women's imaging and bariatric procedures. The pavilion will also double the hospital's capacity to treat hemodialysis patients. The service will be outsourced to a private company, Atlantic Dialysis, as part of a broader effort by Health and Hospitals Corp. to cut costs.