INDIANAPOLIS - After more than 150 years serving Indianapolis, Wishard Hospital is no more -- officially replaced Saturday by the brand new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital.
The transition is the culmination of four years of planning and construction and $754 million, and required 149 patients to be moved from Wishard to Eskenazi on Saturday.
Eskenazi Hospital is located at 720 Eskenazi Ave. in Indianapolis. Find a map of the health campus here.
"[Wishard] gave over 150 years of service to our community," said Eskenazi Health CEO Dr. Lisa Harris. "We're carrying on that idea, that mission, forward now in facilities that are as good as the staff.
The old hospital Eskenazi replaces – first named City Hospital, then Marion General, then Wishard – closed officially at 2:50 p.m. Saturday when the last remaining patient, who also happened to be the last baby born at the hospital, was discharged to home.
The new hospital features private rooms and expanses of glass throughout the 1.3 million square foot building designed, according to officials, to take some of the anxiety out of a hospital stay.
"When folks are having trouble, they come to the emergency room," said Kevin Webb. "But it might ease their mind a little when they see the architecture and the pretty colors that put them at ease. [It's] very welcoming and peaceful."
Neonatal intensive care nurse Janie Spears started at Wishard when it was still Marion General. She says the new hospital is a dream come true.
"I had a lifetime of memories at the old hospital, and now I feel like these will be memories of a lifetime," she said.
The Eskenazi emergency room had already seen more than 120 patients Saturday evening after opening at 7 a.m.
The hospital also saw its first birth Saturday: a baby girl, born just after noon.