Decommissioning of Lourdes Hall to begin this spring

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Press Release) — Early this spring, Avera St. Luke’s will begin to decommission Lourdes Hall, including the archway that connects the historical building to the main hospital, and the former Northeastern Mental Health buildings that are within Avera St. Luke’s main campus.

Although Lourdes Hall has been on the Avera campus since 1941, it has not been used for the last several years. The four-story building was originally built in 1920 as Lincoln Hospital. It was purchased during the Great Depression and moved to campus from several blocks over to its current location. The building has served as mental health clinic and as housing for the Presentation Sisters and physicians.

Because of its significance to the Sisters and its history, Avera St. Luke’s has taken extra steps to ensure the building is emptied of historical artifacts. The concrete cross that is on top of the building will be removed and placed into Lourdes Park, a new greenspace on the west side of the hospital. Bricks from the arch will fill the north wall of the hospital where it currently connects the two buildings. Avera St. Luke’s is also working with a designer to place these in the shape of a cross to further honor what once was.

Although official plans have not yet been made for the space, the demolition plans are the first step into growing the Avera St. Luke’s campus and modernizing our facilities.

“We are carefully recognizing the heritage of this building while continuing on with our master campus planning,” said Todd Forkel, Regional President and CEO. “The building was first moved to campus because Avera St. Luke’s was growing, as were the care and services the hospitaloffered. Avera’s goal has always been to meet the need of the day, and the demolition of these buildings will help to ensure that we are always able to do that.”

The demolition of the former Northeastern Mental Health buildings is set to begin Monday, March 8. The archway’s demolition will likely begin Monday, March 22, followed by the demolition of Lourdes Hall. These dates are contingent on weather, as well as the City of Aberdeen’s plans to complete street work on Third Avenue.