Editor's note: Read the update to this story, published Monday, March 23, 2020.
In a televised press conference on the morning of Saturday, March 21, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the far west side of Manhattan is on the shortlist of sites to become field hospitals for the testing and treatment of coronavirus patients.
The move is part of the State’s plan to request four 250-bed field hospitals from FEMA, in addition to four Army Corps of Engineers temporary hospitals.
Other sites under consideration are SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Westbury, and the Westchester Convention Center. Cuomo said he intends to finalize the list and send it to the federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers today.
“Javits is so big that it can take the four field hospitals and an Army Corps of Engineers temporary hospital,” said Cuomo.
Architect James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners designed the 1.6 million-square-foot, glazed, space-framed structure, which was completed in 1986. Roughly triple the size of the city’s former exposition hall, the Javits Center is the twelfth largest convention facility in the country. In 2018, it hosted the AIA’s national conference.
Watch the press conference below.