When will the former St. Mary Hospital be torn down? Is there a date for that?
The Blessing Health System announced in August that it would demolish the former St. Mary Hospital at 14th and Broadway this winter, but don't expect it to come down quickly.
Blessing spokesman Steve Felde said explosives will not be used to raze the building because of its close vicinity to single and multifamily residences, as well as heavily traveled Broadway along the north side of the building.
"The building will come down using a wrecking ball and other manual processes," Felde said. "In terms of time frame, crews continue to salvage recyclable material from the building. When that process is complete, a local architect will document any significant architecture of the buildings that make up the 14th Street facility."
Demolition is expected to start in January or early February.
Crews installed a construction fence around the building this summer for safety and to allow for decommissioning and securing the site.
Blessing bought the building and property in 1993 from the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, which operated St. Mary Hospital for 126 years.
Inpatient care had not been offered at the 14th Street facility since the Blessing Behavioral Center moved to the new Moorman Pavilion in 2015. The remaining employees were recently moved to the Blessing Education Center at 5009 Oak.
No future plans for the property were stated when Blessing announced that the building would be demolished.
"As with all things, the 14th Street building reached the end of its useful life," said Maureen Kahn, Blessing Health System president and CEO. "However, the importance of the care provided under its roof and the compassion and faith with which the care was delivered will forever be a part of this community's history.
"Blessing will retain the property, and it will again, someday, play a role in the health of the communities served."
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