Victor and Gussie Baxt Building, Miriam Hospital

An older building made way for a new patient care and operating room facility in the middle of a dense residental neighborhood

About this Property

#Proposal

From Lifespan.org:

The new Victor and Gussie Baxt Building represents the first step in The Miriam Hospital Campaign for the Next Generation, an ambitious, $35 million capital improvement effort to build facilities worthy of the medicine practiced here. The addition of this building greatly improves patient care and comfort.

Our new facility includes:

  • Ten new operating rooms, with state-of-the-art technology–including advanced robotics–that enables our experts to expand our minimally invasive surgical program and attract the next generation of surgeons.
  • A 25,000-square-foot radiology suite, offering the latest diagnostic imaging and interventional technology, in a space befit for tomorrow’s innovation.
  • A patient care unit with 36 private rooms, providing a comfortable and confidential environment for patients and their families, with the latest clinical technology located at the bedside for the best care.
  • Conference rooms, custom designed to allow our physicians to consult via video teleconferencing, thereby enhancing our medical education programs.
  • A new gift shop and cafeteria, with broad menu and dining opportunities that provide welcome respite for our caregivers, patients and visitors.

#Reception

The previous “Sol Koffler Family Research Center” and small parking lot in front of it was demolished to make way for this new larger building. The Sol Koffler wing was constructed in the late 60s as one of the first expansions Miriam made into the neighborhood. Its concrete, almost Brutalist design was not easy to expand upon, and so it was removed instead.

Miriam and the Summit Neighborhood Association have a long history of working together and fighting each other as well. They don’t always see eye to eye, and that makes sense. Miriam wants to have access to state-of-the-art facilities and the Lifespan hospital system has gobbled up land along North Main Street for many years. Why expand here in the dense East Side when lots of land is available down the hill?

To the neighborhood, Miriam represents siren noise, inflated housing and rental costs due to the demand from staff and students, high traffic, and an appetite to expand and expand. On the other hand, the jobs are good to have in the area, and access to state-of-the-art facilities is not half bad.

For this project, the original intent was for Miriam to acquire more property in the neighborhood. The neighbors and the Summit Association fought back, and convinced them to build on the land they already own. We though it was a win at the time, but did not have the full picture of how Miriam could have easily built along North Main Street at the former Sears Department store.

The two will continue to butt heads. Luckily for both, they have a positive working relationship and will (hopefully) continue to work towards being good neighbors to each other.