EDGEWATER — More than 15 years after closing, the former Edgewater Medical Center is set to begin a new chapter in its controversial history as early as Tuesday with the teardown of a major portion of the abandoned medical campus.
Owners of the buildings, MCZ Development, applied for demolition permits in January and got city approval last week to take down several buildings west of an a small alleyway that divides the 5700 N. Ashland Ave. hospital grounds.
Several four- to eight-story structures in the 1600 blocks of West Hollywood and Edgewater Avenues were given the green light to come down Thursday, city records show.
The space is set to become owned and managed by the Chicago Park District and includes buildings that housed the hospital's rooftop pool, helipad, cancer center, apartments used by former employees, medical equipment and more.
The remaining buildings are slated to become new and renovated apartments and parking.
The hospital buildings aren't the first to be demolished at the site: its parking garage was pumped of "putrid"-smelling water in November 2014 and later razed to make space for luxury single-family houses.
Of the parcels being prepared for demolition, large portions of those buildings are unsecured, in some places completely open and partially submerged in standing water.
Officials have said rats and asbestos in the buildings must first be eradicated before they can be torn down.
Photographers and others have been known to secretly enter the building for over a decade, now an infamous structure among urban explorers.
One man who recently took a trip inside the abandoned hospital, Mike Kinsch, took photos in some of the buildings soon to be demolished, as well as other parts of the campus, showing its ongoing state of decay.
All photos provided by Mike Kinsch.