The demolition of Saint John’s Health Center’s Main Wing, which was erected more than 60 years ago by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, began on February 15. It is estimated that the removal of the distinctive Streamline Moderne structure will take up to four months, and is the next step in the redevelopment of the St. John’s complex that was begun by the hospital after it sustained significant damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Construction of the four-story, 275,000-square-foot Howard Keck Diagnostic and Treatment Center on the site of the original hospital will begin this summer and be completed in 2009. It will be connected to the North Pavilion, the new 182-bed inpatient facility that opened in December. Following completion of the Keck building, underground parking and a new entry plaza on Santa Monica Boulevard will be built. When it is finished, in mid-2010, phase one of Saint John’s Health Center’s Master Plan will be complete. “Although we’ll be demolishing the original Main Wing, we will certainly be keeping the spirit of Saint John’s and our strong commitment to the community,” said Bruce Lamoureux, president and CEO of Saint John’s Health Center. Because the original building will be demolished one floor at a time, disruption to the rest of the hospital and patients is expected to be minimal. Parking for the hospital and medical buildings will remain unchanged. However, the drop-off/cul-de-sac on Arizona and 22nd Street will be closed, and people will enter or leave the hospital at either Denny Court or the valet parking area just west of 23rd Street on Santa Monica Boulevard. When completed, the new Howard Keck Diagnostic and Treatment Center, a gift of the W.M. Keck Foundation, will house the Weingart Foundation Emergency Department, the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation Radiation Oncology Center, and the Mrs. Henry E. Singleton Express Diagnostic Center, as well as a new surgery center, imaging department and cardiac catheterization laboratories. The Vasek Polak Cancer Center and Joyce Eisenberg Keefer Breast Center will also be located there.
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