I was fortunate to attend the HUNI (Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis) meeting on Saturday, which included a brief tour of Ivy Tech’s recently expanded site and what is left of  Saint Vincent Hospital–that front footprint.

This is a sentimental favorite and I, for one, am thrilled that at least the front footprint remains. As I peered out the window, I wondered if my grandmother had done the same when my mother was born. Where was the delivery/ nursery sections of the hospital then? How many people had some approximation of this as their last view of the outside world and Indianapolis?

As for the rest of it, I’ll leave it to you to share your opinions… here are a few vistas for your viewing pleasure!


View out the front towards Fall Creek, looking southwest


View out the back towards former IPS School 36, Ben Franklin School–now apartments for seniors

View looking east on Fall Creek

Obscured view, but from that bridge, you can see The Marott and more of the Ivy Tech campus


Looking southeast

How many of you entered the world here?

9 responses to “Room With a View: Old Saint Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek”

  1. Miriam says:

    I was born at the old St. V’s and my mother was as well. It’s heartbreaking to see what Ivy Tech allowed to happen to this gorgeous building. They owned it for several years and let it sit and rot. So, in an attempt to pacify preservationists, they kept the facade. Frankly, it makes me sick that they could have saved this building, but ultimately because of their completely inattentiveness it was demolished.

  2. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Miriam, I understand your frustration, but I don’t think this can all be blamed on Ivy Tech, and if memory serves, Ivy Tech bought it from the City(?) for $1 with the proviso that they rehab it. After that deal was struck was when they “realized” they couldn’t reuse the building and what we’re looking at is the end result. This would not have been my #1 choice either, by a long shot. But it’s what we’ve got…

  3. clicclic says:

    When they tore all the copper off the roof I was bummed. Didn’t seem necessary. Still, happy they saved most of it.

  4. Nora says:

    I’m am looking forward to peering out those same windows. Both my grandmother and aunt attended nursing school and and boarded at the hospital. I am happy to see that at least part of it is surviving.

  5. Miriam says:

    Tiffany, yes the whole thing was very frustrating. We had a study sent to our office years ago from A2SO4 to determine what was needed to rehab the building. I am guessing that a big part of IvyTech’s hesitancy to rehabilitate the building was the asbestos and lead paint remediation that would have been needed. Just makes me sad I guess.

  6. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    I fully understand, Miriam!

  7. Brook says:

    It could have been worse, it could have ended up as a parking lot.

  8. B says:

    The copper was torn off by thieves. What’s on there now is not copper. You wouldn’t want to see the price tag for copper.

    The original building could not have been retrofitted to allow for classrooms. The exterior walls and corridor walls were load bearing construction and would not have been able to accommodate anything near the size required for classrooms without substantial capital investment. The architects keeping what they did it allowed for faculty offices and support spaces to utilize the original hospital room structural bay. The historical stair was also maintained. A lot of time and effort went into figuring out how to save and incorporate original pieces into the design. The sad part is that it probably would have been much cheaper to demolish the building and start from scratch but instead a compromise was found and the building can now live on with a new purpose. Great lengths were taken to salvage and maintain many historical features, which can be seen when you tour the building. Some people appreciate it, some people don’t. To each his own. But I at least wanted to share some of the background that went in to what you see today. BTW, asbestos and lead paint concerns were not a contributing factor to the decision.

  9. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Disagree with the ‘sad part’ being that it would have been cheaper to demolish the building entirely. The whole sale (for $1), as I understood it, was predicated on the fact that the building would be re-used, so I don’t see it as a big victory or act of altruism to have retained that front footprint; in fact, it feels more like the public was sold a pig in a poke. I’m thrilled SOMETHING remains, but really disappointed about how the wheeling and dealing is often done here, allowing for such a major change of plan. Undoubtedly, every adaptive reuse project has a host of technicalities and issues to combat, but inadequate recon work or an after-the-fact “oopsie, we miscalculated” isn’t going to meet a sympathetic ear here. The addition on the back end now may be functional and meet code requirements, but it sure doesn’t have the beauty and charm of the original, in my eyes…but as you say, “to each his own.” Presumably you work for the firm who collaborated on this project; thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *