Remembering Ravenswood Hospital’s History

By Mike Fourcher | Friday, November 25, 2011

Ravenswood Hospital as it appeared in 1945. From American Urbex.

Due to the odd ways of the Intertubes, we stumbled across this fascinating site where the author has not only curated an excellent collection of links about the old Ravenswood Hospital, 4501 N. Winchester Ave., but it seems they’ve broken into the property and taken some very good, illicit photos of the hospital interior’s remains.

Although it was once an important pillar of the community, the final years of Advocate Ravenswood Medical Center were not pretty. In 1998, 15 year-old Christopher Sercye was shot in the abdomen on North Wolcott Ave. and dragged near the entrance of the hospital, but because of a hospital policy against staff leaving the building, staff left Sercye alone and untreated. Twenty minutes later staff finally retrieved Sercye and treated him, but his wounds were too severe. He died within the hour.

The event garnered national attention, including an unsuccessful attempt by then-President Bill Clinton to defund the hospital’s federal funding. In 2002 Advocate shut the hospital’s main functions down. The remaining functions, as a much smaller, specialty hospital, the Neurologic and Orthopedic Hospital, were wrapped up in 2009.

Now most of the site is set for demolition in 2013 to make way for the new Lycee Francais de Chicago school.

Tags: , , ,

Share this now!

  • Abby Elliott

    Most photographers would never BREAK into a property.  If a property is left open that’s one thing but photographers and urbex’ers as a general rule do not break & enter, do not vandalize, and do not steal from properties.  They respect the properties, the history, and the current owners.  Just FYI.  

    • Anonymous

      If a window or door is wide open, you are not breaking. But you are trespassing (or “entering”). However, if you have to jimmy a lock, pry off a board or force open a closed window, you are “breaking.”

      I am not sure of the details, but I do know that the new property owners, Lycee Francais, recently took steps to repair locks and seal openings on the building. At a minimum, if Lycee Francais made sure that all the windows and doors are closed, then however the photographer got in is was “breaking”.

Spread the word