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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2019, 11:43 PM
suburbia suburbia is offline
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Calgary General Hospital

The Calgary General Hospital had four manifestations:
#1: 7th St & 9th Ave SW - opened in October 1890 ; 2 floor house

CREDIT - AHS

#2: 6th St & 12th Ave SE - opened in 1895; 35-bed sandstone hospital

CREDIT - AHS

#3: 841 Centre Ave NE - opened in 1910 ; 4 floor 160 beds sandstone hospital

CREDIT - AHS

#4: Replaced #3 at 841 Centre Ave NE ; original phased opened 1953 with several subsequent additions ; closed in 1997 due to provincial government funding cuts ; demolished in 1998

CREDIT - AHS

1998 destruction following closure of the 1953 hospital in 1997
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2019, 3:12 PM
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Alright, I was very curious about this. My assumption was that everything earlier was demolished in the 1950s, but it appears the original laundry building might have survived.

I've put a red dot on it in each image

1911



1948



1979



1995



Anyway, that would just be a point of further investigation, it doesn't prove anything.
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2019, 4:01 PM
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Also, the 2nd iteration of the hospital that Suburbia posted "#2: 6th St & 12th Ave SE - opened in 1895; 35-bed sandstone hospital" is the source of what is known today as the Rundle Ruins.
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2019, 5:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post
Alright, I was very curious about this. My assumption was that everything earlier was demolished in the 1950s, but it appears the original laundry building might have survived.
I think you're correct. A very small percentage of the structure that was demolished was older than 45 years (and about half was younger than 45 years old). I think that percentage by sf would be much smaller for the General than the proportion of the original Holy Cross building at the time that hospital was closed in 1997.

Anyway, my point about the structures at the point they were demolished was that man they would have made an awesome re-purposed neighborhood. Leaving aside the healthcare cuts that shut it down in 1997, I don't think these buildings would have been leveled now as they were in 1998. There was a massive amount of space for adding commercial, particularly on the north side where the large parking lot was. The hospital structures were actually several buildings, and so it would not have been a monotonous condo structure, but a real variety of spaces. Those end buildings with curved walls, for example, would have been amazing for higher end units. The interstitial spaces being significant in hospitals would have allowed rather high ceiling spaces. Heck, they even had an existing helipad that could have been kept for the high rollers (not sure if that would make sense or not, but just pointing it out).
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2019, 9:41 PM
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Someone who actually experienced the General in person rather than through the perspective of activist groups like Friends of Medicare, would not miss any aspect of its sorry existence. It was a series of poorly constructed, dark and dreary institutional buildings with low ceilings, poor HVAC and issues with mould and asbestos. It had mostly ward rooms and insufficient day patient facilities. The expanse of surrounding parking lots turned the immediate area into a wasteland. The Lougheed government more or less set the General on course for the wrecking ball when it built the PLC in the NE and expanded the Rockyview Hospital in the SW. Healthcare facilities were so over built that portions of the PLC and Rockyview didn't open until after the General closed. It was a no brainer decision to invest in modern facilities and repurpose the site of the General. Hopefully the former Holy Cross Hospital site will eventually redevelop as well. While not as dumpy as the General, it's facilities were also completely obsolete.
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2019, 10:19 PM
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Someone who actually experienced the General in person rather than through the perspective of activist groups like Friends of Medicare, would not miss any aspect of its sorry existence
My experiences there numbered many, many dozen, and I know personally several people who worked there. They had the first ICU in Calgary, and like that innovation, launched numerous best practices that spread across the city, and in some instances across the country. But of course this thread is not meant to be about health care per se, rather, it is about if the building should have been destroyed of repurposed with renovations as a potentially spectacular example of a heritage building converted to residences and some commercial areas, including new commercial areas to the north and south in the then parking lots.

There was a rumour going around that the Conservatives wanted the General erased from history because the original was funded by an immigrant. Is it true that an immigrant underwrote the original 1890 structure?

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Hopefully the former Holy Cross Hospital site will eventually redevelop as well. While not as dumpy as the General, it's facilities were also completely obsolete.
My recollection is that the Conservative government of the time sold it for pennies on the dollar to a private outfit who then kept it running for aspects of private care the government changed the laws to allow. The government, therefore, ended up making the health service pay these "friends" for services provided out of the same facility they ensured needed closed.


Last edited by suburbia; Apr 5, 2019 at 11:51 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2019, 1:27 AM
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Not to sideline the topic of this thread, but how much of the Holy Cross is still open and useable for health services versus closed and/or unused space?

Incedentally, what happens to paper patient records that were at a now closed hospital? I was born at the Holy Cross and wonder whatever would have happened to my (or my mother’s) file.
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2019, 10:46 PM
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Very true. The old General Hospital was a piece of garbage building that needed to go. That and it hasn't been missed at all, shows it was a good move.

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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Someone who actually experienced the General in person rather than through the perspective of activist groups like Friends of Medicare, would not miss any aspect of its sorry existence. It was a series of poorly constructed, dark and dreary institutional buildings with low ceilings, poor HVAC and issues with mould and asbestos. It had mostly ward rooms and insufficient day patient facilities. The expanse of surrounding parking lots turned the immediate area into a wasteland. The Lougheed government more or less set the General on course for the wrecking ball when it built the PLC in the NE and expanded the Rockyview Hospital in the SW. Healthcare facilities were so over built that portions of the PLC and Rockyview didn't open until after the General closed. It was a no brainer decision to invest in modern facilities and repurpose the site of the General. Hopefully the former Holy Cross Hospital site will eventually redevelop as well. While not as dumpy as the General, it's facilities were also completely obsolete.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2019, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by YYCguys View Post
Not to sideline the topic of this thread, but how much of the Holy Cross is still open and useable for health services versus closed and/or unused space?

Incedentally, what happens to paper patient records that were at a now closed hospital? I was born at the Holy Cross and wonder whatever would have happened to my (or my mother’s) file.
Quick search finds it listed as a current AHS location, so the rent paid by the tax payer since it was sold for pennies on the dollar must have really racked up to this point! The office of the medical officer of health is there, and large parts are used for private outsourced care.

Regarding records, I'd think they'd still be in archives somewhere or other - but don't know specifics.
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2019, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post

This image really shows how much of the hospital was less than 45 years old when it was demolished by the Klein Conservatives. Everything outside of the small piece you highlighted was likely from hospital #3 and the original #4 hospital, which is just the top left portion in this image. All of the rest were newer! I recall the regional laundry being literally just a year or two old in 1997, being the latest addition. In 1962 an 8 floor rehab centre was added, a service wing was added five years later, an education wing in 1970 and the Centennial Wing in 1977, just 20 years before the hospital was closed (newer than PLC is now). As I look at it now, however, I think only the 1953 portion warranted saving. It's unique structure with curved spaces would have been excellent for condos.

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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2019, 1:39 AM
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It was totally the right move.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Someone who actually experienced the General in person rather than through the perspective of activist groups like Friends of Medicare, would not miss any aspect of its sorry existence. It was a series of poorly constructed, dark and dreary institutional buildings with low ceilings, poor HVAC and issues with mould and asbestos. It had mostly ward rooms and insufficient day patient facilities. The expanse of surrounding parking lots turned the immediate area into a wasteland. The Lougheed government more or less set the General on course for the wrecking ball when it built the PLC in the NE and expanded the Rockyview Hospital in the SW. Healthcare facilities were so over built that portions of the PLC and Rockyview didn't open until after the General closed. It was a no brainer decision to invest in modern facilities and repurpose the site of the General. Hopefully the former Holy Cross Hospital site will eventually redevelop as well. While not as dumpy as the General, it's facilities were also completely obsolete.
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Originally Posted by jc_yyc_ca View Post
Very true. The old General Hospital was a piece of garbage building that needed to go. That and it hasn't been missed at all, shows it was a good move.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2019, 2:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Grizzly View Post
It was totally the right move.
Closing Holy Cross and the General certainly did not make financial sense, given how much the tax payer has been on the hook for via outsourced health care - at places like the Holy Cross, no less! I'm surprised that so many fiscal hawks think spending more money is the way to go.

But at the end of the day, my question was most about heritage buildings and how much we protect them (or not).
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