CHICAGO (CBS) — A full 130 years after opening its first facility in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Children’s Memorial Hospital is leaving the neighborhood behind for a shiny new facility in Streeterville.
As CBS 2’s David Morrison reports, the hospital is moving this weekend from its campus just east of DePaul University at Lincoln and Fullerton avenues and Halsted Street, to the new 23-story Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital at 225 E. Chicago Ave.
The move will mean some major traffic tie-ups in Lincoln Park on Saturday morning, as pediatric patients are transported from the old hospital to the new one.
Beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, Fullerton Avenue, Parkway and Drive will be closed from Lincoln and Halsted streets and Lake Shore Drive nearly a mile east.
Because the move involves the transportation of nearly 200 children, traffic will also be obstructed on several north-south cross-streets so ambulances can properly pick up and move the patients without any hassle.
Clark Street, Stockton Drive and Cannon Drive will all be blocked off at Fullerton Parkway/Drive to accommodate the ambulances. The entrance and exit ramps to Lake Shore Drive at Fullerton will also be closed.
Anyone planning to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo or Conservatory on Saturday will need to get off Lake Shore Drive at the LaSalle Drive-North Avenue exit.
The process is expected to last 10 to 18 hours, and may even extend into Sunday.
Philanthropist Ann Lurie donated $100 million five years ago to help fund construction of the new hospital. The new facility is designed to make a visit to the hospital less intimidating for young patients, and features a replica Chicago fire truck cab for children to play on, model whales from the Shedd Aquarium in the lobby, and an open-air Sky Garden.
Also, all 288 beds in the new facility are in private rooms.
Meanwhile, developer McCaffery Interests Inc. plans to redevelop the old Children’s Memorial campus as a “town center” in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, with multi-income housing, retail and open space.
The hospital also sold one of its old campus buildings – the Belden Place building at the southeast corner of Halsted Street and Belden Avenue – to DePaul. Children’s Memorial was founded as the eight-bed Maurice Porter Memorial Hospital at Halsted and Belden in 1882.
The hospital will retain some off-campus buildings in Lincoln Park, including its outpatient center at 2515 N. Clark St., and the Kids Doc at 1970 N. Clybourn Ave. The hospital also plans to go on leasing a building at 1731 N. Marcey St.
But effective Saturday, any parents who need emergency care for their children should take them to the new hospital in Streeterville.