Sunday, November 09, 2008

About 8 Years ago, the hospital building that I work in closed down. A new one had been built on the grounds and after a short search, they weren't able to find someone that wanted to take over the old building for another purpose. It has been sitting empty all this time, waiting for demolition. It was built in 1951 to house the chronically ill.

The patients moved into the lovely and modern new building and the offices moved into other buildings. On moving day, I decided to take a chance and ask if I could take the old coffee table that had been sitting in the elevator lobby on our floor for so many years. Its finish was worn and water damaged and its style was considered very old fashioned. I was worried it would just go in the garbage. I made a few calls and happily, I was given the coffee table!

Fast forward to the present. I still have the lovely mid-century modern coffee table in my living room. Shamefully, I still haven't refinished it. For some reason I've grown sentimental about the old days working in the old building. Perhaps its because I just received my 20 year long service gift--so I've been thinking about those old days. With that on my mind, I took an extra long look the other day at the old photos hanging in the lobby of the new building. The photos depict the opening day of the old building in 1951. The front lobby is pictured with it's large, rounded front desk. I sat there 20 years ago and answered the switchboard--my first job there. And there it is in 1951 looking almost the same. Except as I look at little closer I see the cool lobby furniture and curtains. Looking closer still, I see my table! Of course I nearly screamed. How cool is that? Its possible that they bought more than one of those tables--but still, it's the same model.

Our staff photographer is looking for the negatives for me so I can have a copy of the photo. Hopefully he finds it! I took photos of the photos to post here. Sorry about the quality.

I used to sit behind that desk. The door leads to a small bathroom. I had to RUN to the bathroom and hope the switchboard didn't ring while I was in there.

I wonder if that is a time clock hanging on the wall? By the time I came along, that wall was covered in fire alarm panels.

One of the patient lounges. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on some of that furniture. Most of it was gone, especially anything uphostered, but there was still a few things hanging around at the time we moved out. Now I wish I had tried to get more. And now it's all gone for sure. A few years ago the building was opened to a charity that removed all of the contents that they deemed saleable. Because it's been sitting empty without heat and water for so long, nobody is allowed inside of it anymore. Too dangerous. Oh well, I'm glad for my little coffee table. And you can be sure its moved to first on my project list for the spring.

And here's the table today. A little worse for wear, but still intact and much loved.

2 Comments:

At 5:59 PM, Blogger jenny said...

Very cool. I love time travel stories!

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Louise said...

That is so awesome. I remember that switchboard too - the curved at St. Mary's.

BTW I have always liked that coffee table; I had no idea that it came from the hospital.

 

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