When I was asked if I wanted to explore this location, I knew very little about it and was told that it was to be demolished soon. So there was no way that I was going to pass up on the opportunity!
As soon as I saw the building I could tell that it had a lot of history and was going to be a great explore!
Photos Of The Hospital:
Video Of The Hospital:
History Of The Location:
The story of this hospital begins in 1867 when the sisters of the congregation of Notre Dame bought the land with intentions of educating the young Catholic girls of the area. A building that was already on the land known as the house of Providence was repurposed into a boarding school for the girls and was renamed St Mary’s of the Lake.
This was unsuccessful for several reasons and by 1899 the property was sold. The property then sat vacant until 1904 when it was purchased by a second group of nuns, the Sisters of Providence. These nuns wanted to care for the needy, the infirm and orphans of the area. They decided to make the building an orphanage and in 1908, St Mary’s of the Lake orphanage was opened.
By the 1930s the orphanage had as many as 200 children living in it and there were plans to increase that number. Until social welfare authorities decide the use of foster homes would be a more effective way to integrate the children back into society. As WW2 broke out the property was requisitioned by the department of National defense and St Mary’s of the Lake was converted into a war hospital.
After being a war hospital for 7 years it was no longer fit to be an orphanage so the sisters decided to continue operating a hospital for the chronically ill. The hospital served the community until 2001 when it became part of Providence care. After this change the hospital specialized in geriatric and palliative care, as well as rehabilitation.
By 2016 the hospital was closed and sat vacant until a university purchased it and is now repurposing it once again.
After expansions and renovations in despite changing congregations and owners multiple times and also sitting vacant more than once. It is incredible that this building has survived for more than 150 years and does not look like it will be going anywhere soon.