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Founded in 1869, Saint Joseph Hospital was the oldest hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It closed in November, 2021 and demolition began in 2022. The hospital was slowly broken apart with hydraulic excavators. This is a common method of demolishing houses and other small buildings, but it is rare to see excavators used on a ten story building that occupies an entire city block. Unfortunately, the city government would not allow the demolition company to use explosives due to its location on the edge of the West Central Neighborhood, a residential area with many historic houses; and because the new hospital was built across the street from the old one. In the end, some sections of the building were pulled down with cables attached to the steel frame of the structure.
Originally a Roman Catholic hospital, Saint Joseph was sold years ago to a big for-profit company that also owns Lutheran Hospital and Dupont Hospital in Fort Wayne. The company built a new, much smaller hospital one block over on the corner of Main Street and Van Buren Street to replace the aging Saint Joseph Hospital. The Saint Joseph name was not kept; the new hospital is called "Lutheran Downtown."
After several failed attempts to pull down the last part of the hospital using cables attached to the building's steel frame, the demolition crew finally succeeded on the evening of November 3, 2022. After the debris is cleared from the site, it will become a parking lot for the new hospital.
Local TV News Story About My Documentation Of The Saint Joseph Hospital Demolition
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