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Sunday, September 25, 2022
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Parkland Hospital’s Old Building to Be Demolished


Vintage image of the old Parkland Hospital location. | Image by Parkland Hospital via WFAA

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The building that housed the former Parkland Memorial Hospital has officially closed its doors, signaling the start of a 24-month process that will culminate in the building’s complete removal from the site.

On September 25, 1954, the facility welcomed its first patient, who was transferred from the old Parkland on Oaklawn Avenue to the new Parkland at 5201 Harry Hines Blvd. and remained open for 61 years, according to the hospital’s history page.

The hospital is where President John F. Kennedy died, but despite that distinction has never been designated as a historical site. The final patient was wheeled out of the old Parkland hospital and into the new and improved Parkland Memorial Hospital on August 16, 2015.

Over the years, the hospital’s building has become unsuitable for safe healthcare handling, NBC News reports. Parkland’s Senior Vice President of Support Services, John Raish, says it is time to “make room for a building that is projected to save Dallas County taxpayers about $3.4 million in annual lease costs,” according to NBC News.

The joint venture in charge of the demolition — The Beck Group and EJ Smith Construction — estimates that it will be completed by November 2023. The project includes removing hazardous on-site materials and piece-by-piece removal, ABC News reports.

Grady Portis, Sr., 60, has an emotional attachment to the structure, he told ABC News. He was born in Parkland, but the building meant much to him because he also worked there for 22 years.

“It’s a little sad that the building is coming down,” Portis told ABC News. “There’s so much history. I can remember my grandmother bringing me to the Emergency Department when I was just a kid and had gotten hurt. On my last birthday [in March], I went up to the Labor & Delivery area and thought, ‘This is where my life began!'”

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Billie Burns
Billie Burns
1 month ago

Dallas always wants to get rid of old buildings, saying that the cost to keep the buildings was just too much. It does not matter the historical meaning. Go for it big buck companies, the bucks always win out.

Reply to  Billie Burns
1 month ago

Parkland is a Dallas institution. 62 years ago I did cardioolmonary research and I had also surgery in this iconic hospital. Dallas has become a greedy city with the most dangerous apartment buildings with no fire wall and poor electrical codes,