As we approach the first anniversary of our West Pavilion Patient Tower Grand Opening, we wanted to reach out to you to provide a progress update on Little Company of Mary’s Campus Transformation Project. While the West Pavilion and Women’s Center for Life and Health are the cornerstone of the Project, we have made significant improvements throughout our entire campus, including renovations in our existing North and South Pavilions. These enhancements include the construction of a new Inpatient Dialysis Unit, Respiratory Care area, Sleep Disorders Center, Pediatric Unit and a new Behavioral Health Services Outpatient area.
We want to thank you for the warm welcome we received by our neighbors last October when we welcomed guests through our back / west entrance into the West Pavilion Patient Tower. If you recently had the chance to view Little Company of Mary Hospital from the east, you can see that we have begun making way for a new east entry drive by dismantling our 1929 Tower building. Before this phase began, our internal Artifacts Committee worked diligently to repurpose many of the religious and historical artifacts from our original facility into our West, North and South Pavilions.
While this committee was aware of the many treasures within the Tower building, the Little Company of Mary Sisters and our Hospital family, were pleasantly surprised at the additional treasures uncovered on the outside of the building. Just before Labor Day weekend, the demolition team discovered a cherished piece of Little Company of Mary history. As they began dismantling our beloved Tower building brick by brick, a metal box was uncovered- a time capsule from 1929 left by the Founding Sisters – buried for us to find 85 years later! The metal box was about the size of two bricks. Sr. Kathleen McIntyre, L.C.M., had the honor of opening the box to uncover the special pieces inside. While we are still unclear of all the time capsule holds, we could identify a rosary and a variety of religious medals and relics. Unfortunately, many of the paper keepsakes had disintegrated over the years. The LCM Sisters will work with experts to attempt to preserve these treasures for many years to come. Once the items are restored to their best possible condition a decision will be made as to where they will be preserved. In the meantime, please take a moment to view the wonderful pictures of the LCM Sisters examining the contents of this treasure for the first time – at www.LCMH.org/timecapsule
Most recently, the top of the Tower building was dismantled, which included the spire, cross and Our Lady the Blessed Virgin Mary statue that has watched over us since she was installed in 1951. We were unsure of the condition of these artifacts. It’s always difficult to know how items will fare while facing half of a century of Chicago’s inclement winters. Everyone was ecstatic to learn that both the cross and the Blessed Virgin statue came down in pristine condition. The cross will be donated to the Village of Evergreen Park, which plans to repurpose this cross just across the street from the Hospital in the new park being constructed on the old grounds of the Evergreen Park Golf Course. The Artifacts committee is still determining the new home on campus for Our Lady the Blessed Virgin Mary statue. We do know that she is 2700 lbs. of all marble and stands more than 8 feet tall.
We believe both our architect, VOA, and our Artifacts Committee has excelled at blending the past and present together to bridge our rich history and mission with the new, state-of the-art facilities. For a suggested, nominal donation you can reserve a keepsake brick of our beloved Tower Building. Proceeds will benefit the Mary Potter Crisis Fund, which provides financial assistance to hospital employees facing hardship. To reserve your special piece of history from the Tower Building, call the Little Company of Mary Hospital Foundation at 708.229.5022.
We anticipate that this dismantling phase will be complete by 2014. We will begin the construction and landscaping of the new east entry in spring 2014. We look forward to completing our Campus Transformation Project by late summer 2014. We thank you for your flexibility and support as neighbors during this process. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Marketing Director, Kelly Cusack, at 708.229.5049 or kcusack@LCMH.org.
We look forward to all that lies ahead for Little Company of Mary Hospital as we continue to serve our community.
Vice President of Clinical Services & Transformation Project Manager