I've said it myself and I've heard many others say how creepy abandoned hospitals are. Maybe it's the countless hours I've logged playing Silent Hill.
Maybe it's the thought of the proliferation of transorbital lobotomies in the 1940s. Maybe it's the thought of cholera and tuberculosis patients cramming the beds and halls; the windowless rooms packed with mental patients. Probably a sum of all of the above. Maybe it's the overall mojo and the history. Whatever it is, the site of the former City Hospital, now Georgian condos at 14th and Lafayette, conjured up scary images of the past. And when my wife and I visited the Georgian a couple years ago, we had these images in the backs of our minds. This place had been out of service as a hospital since 1987. It was sitting vacant for nearly 20 years. It had a sordid past...it had to be haunted and ominous.
However, the site has and continues to evolve. And after looking into the history of the site, the current condos in the Georgian revival style building were in fact merely the administrative building:
So the creepy stuff I mentioned before probably didn't take place in the admin. building. The psych ward was in Malcolm Bliss.
Anyhow, the site has changed drastically over the years, and especially since 2002 when the 1947 addition and Malcolm Bliss were demolished.So where does this site stand today? The first phase of redevelopment is nearly completed. A new building was constructed on the site, by the power plant and laundry building. A catering business occupies this space.
The power plant building is being renovated.
I'd find a place for the old ?boiler? and crane mechanism in the redesign of the space...a good reminder of the building's history.The former laundry building is now the Palladium, a beautiful events hall.
This site is becoming useful again and finding new life. I can't wait to see what tenants occupy the former power building. I hope they add more residential to the renovation of the remaining buildings. We need all the residents we can get to support the businesses in this part of town.
How'd you like to have this as the front door to your abode?
Here are my favorite 2 buildings on the site. I believe the first is the stable/ambulance garage and the second is the commissioner's building:
What a nice addition to an increasing beautiful part of town.
Lots of opportunities still abound.
In speaking to a couple residents of the Georgian and Lafayette Square, folks are excited about the Walgreens going in across the street. On a separate note, I really like the new red helicopter looking sculpture on the Interstate ramps at the south end of Lafayette Square. The former pieces never looked big enough to me. They now look FANTASTIC in the new citygarden downtown.