Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Hospital

Just over a month ago, the new Sidney and Lois Eskenazi 
Hospital opened on a site on the IUPUI campus, 
just west of downtown Indy. The new buildings replace
Wishard Memorial Hospital,which for over 150 years provided
medical care to the people of Marion County. 
As the needs of the community and its services expanded,
Wishard grew, much like Topsy. Visiting the hospital was like 
entering a maze, with clinics fitted and expansions added 
to the building wherever space could be found.
Years ago, it was evident that a new hospital was needed
and ground was broken for the new facilities in 2011.
An extraordinary gift of $40 million to fund the new public 
hospital was made in June 2011 by the Eskenazis.
Every time I came downtown, I passed by the construction 
site, wondering whether the piles of dirt, concrete, steel, 
and stone would be just another nondescript pile. 
But I think we've gotten something beautiful, clean 
and spare with beautiful blue stripes to relieve 
what might well have been ugly, blank walls
full of blind-eyed windows.

While patients were moved and the hospital officially 
began operations on December 7th, a lot of the landscaping
remains to be done. The workmen above are constructing
what will become a multi-layered "healing garden" nestled
in the yard of the hospital, outpatient center, and faculty
office buildings. This is in addition to the garden on the roof 
of the hospital, intended to provide patients, staff, 
and the community with organically grown vegetables. 
The structure of the healing garden is intriguing, 
with steel rebar taking organic forms 
that to me resemble bits of an RNA double helix
There is a pile of massive limestone to one side 
to be put into position down the road, 
and the top will be grassy, too.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

I quite like the patterns in that glass wall!