More than a century ago, the Northern Light Mercy Hospital opened in Portland to treat patients sick during the Spanish flu. Now, the 144 State St. Hospital in Portland is set to close during another global pandemic, this one caused by COVID-19.
But the hospital, which was known as Queen’s Hospital when it opened in 1918, won’t go far, nor will it go far, for that matter. By January 4, Mercy Hospital will have moved all of its patients and staff to a new facility on the Fore River Parkway.
In September, Mercy Hospital began a phased approach to move physician offices and hospital departments to its new campus. The new hospital is located at 175 Fore River Parkway, while the Northern Light Mercy Health Center will be located at 195 Fore River Parkway. The Northern Light Mercy Day Surgery and Specialty Center will be located at 155 Fore River Parkway.
The hospital has posted renderings on its website that show what the new buildings on campus look like. Features include dedicated emergency service parking, new bike racks, expanded sidewalks and walking trails providing visitors with a safe way to connect to various facilities, trails and benches, trees and a walkway. .
Ed Gilman, communications director for Northern Light Mercy Hospital, said the move from State Street to Fore River Parkway was nearing completion.
“We are preparing to take the final clinical steps,” Gilman said last week.
There are still a few patients and staff occupying the State Street Hospital, but after Jan.4, the building, which Mercy leases to its new owners, will cease to function as a health care facility, Gilman said. . The emergency department at Mercy Hospital on State Street will officially close on January 4. A new emergency department at Fore River Parkway Hospital will open for patients at 4 a.m. on Jan.4, Gilman said.
Meanwhile, a Portland-based auctioneer has been hired to sell hundreds of Mercy Hospital real estate assets next month. Items that should be auctioned off range from food service and facility maintenance equipment to power generators and building interiors. All items auctioned will be non-medical in nature.
“It’s going to be a tough job. There are six floors of material and a lot of equipment, ”said Steve Keenan, owner of Keenan Auction Company. “And they bring very few items with them to Fore River.”
The public will be invited to submit bids at the scheduled online auction which is set to start at 9 a.m. on January 23. All items will be sold to the highest bidder regardless of the price. The auction will end on February 7 at 1 p.m. To see some of the items that will go on sale, visit www.keenanauction.com.
Phase 1 of the Mercy Fore River campus opened in 2008 with a medical office building and a new hospital offering inpatient and outpatient surgical services, diagnostic imaging, a laboratory and the birthplace. The newly expanded campus will include an emergency department and patient care units with private rooms. There will also be an outpatient specialty and surgery center located adjacent to the hospital, where Mercy’s gastroenterology and wound care practices will be located.
Mercy’s new hospital is located on a 42-acre site overlooking the Fore River in Portland. The new hospital will offer 77 beds, including six for patient observation, Gilman said.
The Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced in February 2020 that a team of local developers had been selected to convert the State Street Hospital building in Portland’s West End into a range of housing for all income levels. Local development partnership, NewHeight Redfern, purchased the hospital and its 3.5-acre land. NewHeight Redfern has leased space from Northern Light and will take control of the property once Mercy Hospital moves.
During its early years of operation, Queen’s Hospital operated from several buildings in Portland before moving to the Mercy Hospital building on State Street in 1941. The State Street building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.