Franciscan hospital being demolished

An Indianapolis hospital that was vacated more than four years ago as services were consolidated on the southside will be torn down starting next month.

Franciscan Alliance, which operates the Franciscan Health Indianapolis hospital at Stop 11 Road and Emerson Avenue, has decided to tear down the buildings at its former Beech Grove campus.

Work will start in November and take 18 months, Franciscan said in a news release.

The decision has been 25 years in the making.

Hospital leaders realized 20 years ago that the population of Indianapolis was expanding to the southern part of the city, they said when shuttering the Beech Grove services in 2012.

Nearly all services at the Beech Grove campus were shifted to the southside campus, which had been expanded in a $265 million project.

The move helped Franciscan Health to perform more efficiently, eliminate duplication of services and enhance the level of care for the ever-growing population, the hospital said in the news release.

On Thursday, Franciscan Alliance announced the decision to demolish about 900,000 square foot of buildings on 15 acres on Albany Street.

“Over the years, we have worked closely with Beech Grove city officials and have given serious consideration to possible sale and lease alternatives, and we determined this is the best course of action,” said Kevin D. Leahy, president and CEO for Franciscan Alliance, the parent organization of Franciscan Health.

“It always has been our intention to provide for the best possible re-use of this property for the betterment of the Beech Grove community,” Leahy added. “This decision affirms that goal.”

The Beech Grove hospital opened as St. Francis Hospital in 1914 and had 75 patient beds, two operating rooms and the latest in modern technology, according to Franciscan.

Franciscan Alliance now operates hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville, Carmel and 11 other locations throughout Indiana and Illinois.