Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for July, 2010

Fire at Saint Elizabeths

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Saint Elizabeths Kirkbride Building
Lightning is the suspected source of a fire causing “substantial damage” to the Saint Elizabeths Kirkbride building in Washington DC. You can read about it here: Fire Breaks Out at St. E’s. Another source confirms it: Old SE D.C. Hospital Complex Catches Fire.

I don’t know much about this yet, but I’ll post more information as I find it. If anyone has anything to share about this please comment. Even if a lot of damage was done, I think there’s a good chance the government will restore the building since it’s going to be part of the new DHS headquarters. Let’s hope so anyway.

Update: There are photos and some video about this available here: Firefighters Respond to Two Alarm Fire at Saint Elizabeths Hospital. The photos show a pretty limited fire on the roof of the admin tower. Judging from those I’d say the fire wasn’t too bad and was probably contained and controlled by the firefighters before too much damage could be done. We’ll have to wait till more information comes in to be sure.

Here’s a message from the General Services Administration: “As has been widely reported, the cause of the fire is thought to be lightning. The fire was contained to the roof and level 5 directly below the roof which was approximately 24 feet by 25 feet, with minimal subsequent water damage. Emergency response was swift and effective. The building has been assessed for emergency stabilization and repairs, and weatherization measures have begun. This incident will not impact the ongoing design development for the rehabilitation and reuse of the Center Building.”

No Chinese School for Fergus Falls

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building
As has long been suspected, the Chinese language immersion school that was supposed to take over the Fergus Falls Kirkbride is just not going to happen. Redevelopment of other buildings on the property is moving forward, but there are no plans in the works for the Kirkbride. Demolition is the only option on the table. Although it’s not a done deal just yet, things are not looking good for the preservation of Minnesota’s last intact Kirkbride building. You can read a little more about this here: RTC Development to Move Forward; Chinese School Nixed.

Topeka Admin Wreckage Footage

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

There’s some awful footage of the former Topeka State Hospital admin being destroyed here: Wrecking Ball Meets Topeka State Hospital. The video was produced by WIBW of Topeka, Kansas. According to the reporter, the wrecking ball will be swinging for a few more days, and a few months later in October, there’ll be no sign that the building ever existed.