No resuscitation of old Sherman Hospital building
Linda McDaniel-Hale Point Taken June 15, 2012 10:44AM
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Updated: July 18, 2012 6:29AM
I certainly was not surprised, but terribly disappointed, to learn that the old Sherman Hospital on Elgin’s east side — at least some of the building — is headed for the wrecking ball this July.
Even a starring role in last year’s movie “Contagion” couldn’t save its demise to become nothing more than a pile of twisted metal, concrete and bricks. Hasn’t anyone out there heard of recycling?
Back in the day, youngsters used to go around the neighborhood collecting old pop bottles in exchange for some pennies, nickels and dimes. Today, recycling is so politically correct that dropoff centers are located at the Carpentersville Village Hall, at the Elgin Waste Management location and at the Association for Individual Development on Bowes Road.
Many buildings in the Fox Valley have been recycled. The old Safety-Kleen building on Randall Road in Elgin is now a church and school. The R.R. Donnelley building at Route 31 and Big Timber Road in Elgin is now a storage facility. Not far away, the old Leewards retail store on Route 31 now houses Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore resale shop as well as a flea market.
So why couldn’t something be done with the old Sherman Hospital and parking garage? There was an idea or two floating out there about its use. Some area veterans were hoping it could be used as a hospital facility that would be much closer for them to go to rather than traveling over to the Hines VA Hospital in Hines. Did anyone take this idea seriously? This idea obviously fell on deaf ears.
Firefighters will be using the building for training purposes next week, and other area fire departments have been asked to join in. But this will be short-lived, as the inside non-load-bearing walls will be coming out first starting in July.
Plans to seed and landscape the land seems a poor use of this property. Even the old Gromer Supermarket at Wing Street and McLean Boulevard on Elgin’s west side was torn down and replaced by a brand new Walgreens. Couldn’t the old hospital property be put to better use? Could the area have a walking path and a historical marker denoting the first hospital building that stood there in 1917?
Some benches could be installed for people to enjoy the neighborhood. It certainly is a lovely area with mature trees and beautiful old homes across the way. How about a park with playground equipment for the children to enjoy?
As Elgin says goodbye to yet another old friend, get your cameras out and take lots of pictures before it’s too late. You can always rent the movie, “Contagion,” and take another look at what Sherman Hospital used to look like.
It really wasn’t so bad in its day. Sorry someone wasn’t able to come to its rescue and save the day.
Linda McDaniel-Hale is a Sleepy Hollow resident.