SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — A multi-million dollar building project on the Mercy Medical Center Campus has some Springfield residents upset.
The plan is to tear down the old Allis mansion on Carew Street to make room for a new medical building.
Already, crews are inside and starting the demolition. But that destruction has one local group speaking out.
Jim Boone of the Springfield Preservation Trust says getting rid of 146 year old building is nothing short of tragic. “This building… it’s important heritage not just to the city of Springfield by being one of the finest Second French Empire mansions in the city but it’s such an important part of the heritage of Mercy Hospital.”
Around the turn of the century, the Allis Mansion served as Mercy Hospital but slowly fell into disrepair as the hospital grew around it.
Today, officials at Mercy Medical Center say the building is unsafe and hasn’t been used for more than a decade. Because of that, they felt the best plan of action would be to tear it down and build a new 75,000 square foot medical office building on the site.
“Mercy is committed to the delivery of outstanding patient care and the best health care experience as possible. This project will allow us to further the goal,” said Daniel Moen, President & CEO, Sisters of Providence Health Systems.
But Boone maintains Mercy could still rehab the building using some of the $20 million dollars in the new building project budget. “If they desired to use it (the Allis Mansion), if they saw the importance and had the pride in their organization they’d find a use for it.”
According to Mercy Medical Center, “We have engaged a historical consultant to evaluate the significance of the building and to provide advice on appropriate measures to preserve the history.”
Some of those measures include photographs and preserving certain building artifact.
Mercy Medical Center plans to have the new office building open by early 2014.