How old is your hospital? - page 2

by NevadaFighter

I am inspired by all things old, especially architecture. Would any of you would like to share some background about your hospitals?... Read More


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    Current hospital I work in was built in 1967, but its roots go back to 1905. There used to be an old sanitarium that housed the patients in large open wards. This building is still used for administrative services and staff education. Its very creepy.

    Former employer had many different buildings and architecture all on one site. When I worked there in 2004, the patient-care buildings (some of which are now gone) were built in 1929, 1950, 1965 (the round tower) and 1985 (Triangle tower). That place was a trip - the unit i worked in was in the 1985 building. The ER was in the 1929 section --- although modern and efficent, the exterior was kinda scary with old red bricks.
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    My hospital was opened in 1877, started by 3 nuns from Germany, Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. It had the capacity to care for 18 pts at the time. They continued to build on & grow but, unfortunately in 1949, there was a large fire which pretty much destroyed the building & took 77 lives. It was rebuilt but none of the old structure remains (that I'm aware of, although the idea of some tunnels is interesting).

    On a side note, one of my nursing instructors was one of the babies saved from the nursery the night of the fire!
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    Eeeh sonie, why my hospital is SO OLD.........it was around in those days when hospitals didn't just get whatever they wanted. They had to earn things. It walked to school, it didn't get to take no bus.......AND UPHILL BOTH WAYS. My hospitals parents didn't buy it no TV and video games..........it played baseball in the street with a stick and a rock, used cow flops to mark the bases. And my hospital didn't misbehave like today's young hospitals. If it did get outta line, it'd get beaten on the behind with a bat that had spikes, then would be sent to its room without dinner and would have to live on water and bread for three weeks........................
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    I'd venture to guess that there are quite a few OLD facilities around that have been torn down, rebuilt, renovated, etc. But I'd bet THE TUNNELS still exist somewhere dead-ending deep in the bowels of the earth beneath the buildings (and parking lots!). They used to be a major architectural blue-printed engineered requirement for institutions of that age.

    I bet there's old tunnel systems under old universities and colleges, too. They were built with residential halls at the time.
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    I work PRN at the second oldest psychiatric facility in the country; it's in Kentucky.
    It also has some extremely spooky tunnels; most were used by the nurses to return
    to dormitories, but some apparently were used to house the worst of the worst
    patients; there are still shackles on some of the walls. I unfortunately have never
    had a chance to visit the tunnels and perhaps never will =(; there is construction
    happening on the grounds, as the hospital is actually being turned into a campus
    for our community college system, and the hospital is moving into a brand spanking
    new building down the road. Because of the construction, some of the tunnels
    are actually gone.

    Fortunately, the oldest building is being preserved, but I hate that the hospital
    is moving... I'm like you OP, I LOVE old buildings!

    As for hauntings... they say, if you tear down a haunted building and put up a
    brand new building on the same grounds, the new building will be haunted as
    well. There's an old TB hospital here in KY that was just torn down (no it's not
    Waverly Hills; it's a different one), and a new building is about to go up. Our
    news station was talking to an expert in the paranormal, who stated that the
    new building will be haunted by the same spirits that haunted the old building.
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    Very interesting, NurseCard!

    That is really sad that the hospital is moving, though! I feel for ya!
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    When I was a college student, I rented a room in the spare nurses dorm at Reading (PA) Hospital. Those buildings were all connected with tunnels, too. And the tunnel from our building was still stocked with steel barrels of water and I don't know what else, marked Civil Defense. The dorm buildings were built in the '20s or '30s, I imagine. The rooms were large, they had stained wood doors and casings, two locking closets per room, and a full bath (tiled floors and walls) for each room. The floors were hardwood, but covered by linoleum tiles by then. The nurse dorms were Buildings K and M of the Reading Hospital in West Reading. At that time, the RN school enrollment must have been low and M Bldg --was used for student nurses only, and K was a mix of offices and female college students. The elevators in those buildings had the old folding brass gate for the elevator car and then sliding doors to close off the elevator shaft. I don't know why I never took any pictures. I guess film was too expensive, lol. There was one of those old, old oak wheelchairs in there and it had a caned seat. We use to race up and down the halls with it at night. We also used to go prowl around the building and look in the office windows, too. They still had house mothers and very controlled access, so you couldn't get away with much. The rooms had no air conditioning, and then in winter the steam heat got really hot. It was hot in the summer and hot in the winter, too. :-D

    http://www.readinghospital.org/images/Upload/2177h.jpg Buildings K and M are the two identical brick buildings at the lower left in that picture. Because I was just a renter, I didn't go over to the hospital much. But looking at it now, I can see that it really expanded to take over a whole city block.

    The tunnels probably made it easier for Maintenance to move tools and equipment around, since they could roll stuff in over at the Hospital and then roll it or put it on forklift or a wagon and then drive it or tow it to a different building. Much easier than putting a big freight elevator in each building.


    I hope this doesn't violate TOS but it's interesting: Hill View Manor in New Castle, PA is closed as a hospital now, but operates as a ghost-hunter attraction. http://www.pennsylvania-mountains-of...castle-pa.html You can Google for pics and videos. The buildings seem to be pretty much the same as they were left when the facility closed. My mother says the reason that all the equipment was left in the asylums and sanitariums is that if it was bought using any federal funds whatsoever, it can't be sold or reused. Sounds kind of wasteful to me. (shrug)

    The asylum at Athens, OH was taken over by Ohio State U and restored for university use. http://www.forgottenoh.com/Ridges/ridges.html

    http://www.kirkbridebuildings.com/buildings/ might be of interest to you who like architecutre.
    Last edit by Streamline2010 on Oct 10, '12
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    The local hospital where I grew up was a workhouse during the Great Famine. So at least from the 1830's. Obviously a big expansion at that point.

    My father is part of the team of maintenance men who look after the Famine graveyard next to it. It is a massive communal burial area.

    Anyhow the hospital developed into 3 wards. Medical, surgical and maternity. My dad had his tib fib repaired there in the 60's. However as time went on and GP's were not not allowed to operate (rural Ireland 1960's, not USA) the surgical ward closed. Then people started having OBs instead of GPs manage their pregnancy that ward went as well. The medical ward turned into a geriatric unit as the regional hospital had the funding and technology to look after pts.

    It is now long term care, palliative care and transitional care. A lot of allied health services have taken rooms at the hospital though. The school dental program out pt rehab social work and psych services as well as the childhood immunisation program are run for the town from it.

    It is a lovely sprawling single story sandstone building with verandas ans French doors and huge windows looking over farm land and the river. The mourge is tucked away in the back.

    It is still referred to by some of the older generation as the workhouse. Usually in the context of "if you go into the workhouse you won't come out".


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