Lynch GMC West Bend

Throwback Thursday | This week in January 2007 a portion of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital was razed for a subdivision

Jan. 11, 2018 – West Bend, WI – In January 2007 this article was posted regarding development by the old St. Joes in West Bend.

Home construction is expected to begin soon at the new Chestnut Ridge Subdivision. “It’s a beautiful piece of property with a lot of history,” said Winfield Homes President Scott Swick, about the location off Silverbrook and Chestnut where the old St. Joseph’s Hospital used to be.

“We have 20 lots ranging in size from a third of an acre to as large as a half acre. Prices start at $70,000 and up.” Swick, who built the raffle homes for the Kathy Hospice fundraisers, is the developer and the builder in charge of the custom designed homes.

The 8.3 acre subdivision will be a cul-de-sac community with no through streets. A new road, called Western Court Road will turn into the area off Chestnut Street. The southwest portion of the 1970’s addition to the old St. Joseph’s Hospital was razed to make room for more lots and Swick said he may have an option on adjacent property off Oak Street.

“The hospital is working to sell the last part of the building but if they don’t and decide to tear it down we would buy the parking lot in that corner for additional lots for the subdivision,” said Swick who tried to remain sensitive to the history of the hospital while planning the project.

A VHS video from the West Bend Public Library documents the history of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Some highlights include the cornerstone of the original hospital was ‘laid in November 1929 and in spite of a rigorous winter, building progressed rapidly and the dedication ceremony took place July 2, 1930.’

BC Ziegler and Company of West Bend covered the mortgage for the 25 bed hospital and financing was ‘shared equally by the community and the religious order.’

In 1941 the Moose Lodge and 15 other organizations presented a gift of an iron lung to the hospital to treat infant paralysis which was spreading throughout the state. A year later the chapel and convent were built.

By 1945 ground was broken for a new 66 bed wing to be added to the original structure and the community was called upon again to give financial help. In 1946 a fund raising drive began to raise $100,000 for the addition.

In 1970 another campaign was underway to collect $2.4 million for another expansion. A final narrative in the tape talked about the expanded layout of the latest addition. ‘The new 100 bed hospital was designed ‘with flexibility in mind so it could be duplicated to the north or west if need be in the years to come. Ground breaking was April 10, 1972 and two years later in 1974 the new addition opened.’

Although designed for expansion, the hospital moved out of town to Hwy 45 in 2005. Now, the $7 million Alyce and Elmore Kraemer Cancer Care Center, which opened in March 2000, is still located at the old hospital site however the future of that facility is questionable.

“Synergy and Aurora are talking about combining cancer care services under the Vince Lombardi model,” said Synergy spokeswoman Janet Ford. “At this point, discussions are in preliminary stages and we’re not prepared to comment on what might take place.”


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