Monday, March 31, 2014

The Sacred Heart, part 1

In the summer of 2003, the doors opened to the new combined hospital / clinic in my hometown. The new building is adequate, even state-of-the-art, as much as that is possible in our small community. But the new hospital has none of the character of the grand old building it replaced.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that they would be razing the old hospital which has sat empty for the past ten years. They are going to build an assisted living facility on the lot, which is a very good use of the space. But will that new building have any of the charm of the old Sacred Heart Hospital?

I took this picture in early March of 2008. The building hadn't deteriorated too much yet. 
 The rest of my pictures were taken the other day. Here is the whole front side of the hospital.
 The main entrance was on the second floor, which meant visitors had to climb a set of stairs to visit anyone. Oh, there was an elevator if you went in the side door, but as a kid there was something so cool about climbing the stairs just beyond this door. I can still remember how it smelled inside.
 Behind these windows was a beautiful two-story chapel. I don't think that I mentioned that the hospital was run by a group of nuns, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother. You did not mess with the nuns. Anyway, when the hospital was still in operation, there were beautiful stained glass windows in the chapel. When the building was shut down they took out the stained glass and put it in a hospital about 95 miles to the south west of here. I don't know why the glass couldn't have stayed in our community.
 The backside of the building.
 My mom, my daughter and I were all wheeled through these doors with broken bones over the years.
 So sad to see the building in such a sorry state. The memories that sprouted here. The stories these walls could tell.
I have one story to share myself, but that will have to wait until Thursday. I have enough pictures here already.

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