Here's more via Village Preservation:
The historic Eye and Ear Infirmary ... is in danger of being lost forever. This striking building, which was built in stages between 1856 and 1903, with most of it dating to the 1890s, housed what is the oldest specialized hospital in the Western Hemisphere, founded in 1820 by two doctors known as the "fathers of American ophthalmology."This institution became an icon of comprehensive and accessible care for the public, attracting Helen Keller to speak at the ribbon-cutting for the final stage of the building in 1903.
Unfortunately, the building’s fate is now clouded. It is being emptied of doctors and services as a move several blocks to the north is being contemplated. No matter what happens, this striking piece of our city’s history deserves to be spared from the wrecking ball.
This link has info on how to support the landmark designation of the infirmary.
Last summer, Mount Sinai Beth Israel officials announced that they were no longer pursuing the "$1 billion downtown transformation" that would have seen the creation of a new 7-story hospital on 13th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. This building appeared to exist among the new facilities.