Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Riverside Hospital served the Toledo area for nearly a century before it became a dark, forsaken husk surrounded by a field of cracked pavement.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

After visiting the abandoned Joseph & Feiss Clothcraft industrial compound in Cleveland, I made my way to Toledo to admire the aging remains of Riverside Hospital.

In October 1883, the Sisters of Mercy opened The Retreat, A Home for Friendless Girls. The facility housed young women who were unwed and pregnant, which was taboo at the time. The Retreat kept these expecting mothers hidden away from a society that shamed and persecuted them. Children born there were quietly sent to live in orphanages.

The Retreat moved to various sites before settling at its permanent location at 1609 Summit Street in 1890. 

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

It was upgraded in 1920 with the addition of a 75-bed facility. Over the years, other additions were built and the scope of services offered expanded. The hospital admitted its first male patient in 1932.

The name of the institution changed several times until 1945, when it became Riverside Hospital. In 1983, the Sisters of Mercy founded Mercy Health, which managed the hospital from then on. The 271-bed hospital closed in 2002.

Entrances and windows on the ground floor were boarded up. The freeze-thaw cycle of harsh Midwestern winters cut networks of cracks through the expansive parking lots.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Outdoor sitting areas became overgrown with lush ground cover and thick layers of moss blanketed the surfaces of wooden benches and tables.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

The Toledo Public School District bought the site in 2004 for $750,000 and renovated one of the structures to house its central administrative offices.

The future of the rest of the building remained uncertain. When scrappers began breaking into and looting the abandoned structure, motion detectors were installed and the local police began closely monitoring the property.

Over a decade after the hospital's closure, quite a bit of equipment still remained.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Office furniture and files were also left behind.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

The abandoned cafeteria was eerie and dark. Wires and fixtures hung from a ceiling that had begun to fall in.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Scattered artifacts left clues about the employees who once worked at Riverside.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Finally it was decided that Riverside Hospital would be demolished, with plans to transform the property into a green space.

In June of 2018, a group of former employees gathered to open a time capsule that had been entombed behind a cornerstone in 1972. The capsule contained surgical tools, a stethoscope, a nursing cap, a list of hospital employees, a visitors pamphlet, pens that had been used to sign revenue bonds, and newspapers from 1972.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

Demolition of Riverside Hospital began on August 22, 2018 and is expected to take 5 months to complete at a cost of $998,500.

Abandoned Riverside Hospital of Toledo, Ohio

After a quick visit to Toledo, I continued on to Detroit. Nothing could have prepared me for what I'd find there. I can hardly wait to tell you about it.

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14 comments :

  1. Jim - I love all of your pictures and the stories behind the abandoned buildings. Those buildings I have always had a fascination with - especially how nature starts to take over like there isn't even a building around it. I look forward to every time I see an email from you in my inbox! Love your work!! Keep it coming!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Comments like yours are what keep me going :)

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    2. Jim,
      Riverside hospital was the the 1st hospital my husband practiced in. I would like the pictures to give him. I have 2 bricks from the demolition and thought the pictures would be a nice addition. Please let me know if you can send me the 2 exterior shots. Kym cragel

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    3. Hi Kym,
      That's great that you kept 2 of the bricks as mementos. I'd be glad to send you some pictures. Please feel free to send me a private message with your email address via Facebook or any of my other social media accounts.

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  2. Always enjoy what you are finding. I drive back road, it is interesting what you see when you get off the interstate roads.Keep going

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I take back roads whenever possible. The interstate is great when you are in a hurry, but back roads are the way to go when you have time to explore and appreciate the unique character of the places you're passing through.

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  3. Great article, Jim. As usual. Thank you for bringing all these incredible places to our attention. I absolutely love your work.

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  4. I went here with a friend it was one of the most beautiful but crazy place I have ever been it sad that it was torn down but I'll never forget what happened me and my friend had found a tennis ball on one of the floors and it was wild we tossed it and while we were leaving the building where we tossed the ball at I was on the floor below my friend and we were on a video call but me and him were creeped out to find were we tossed the ball upstairs was at the very area downstairs were I was at so we were at the same spot were I thew a ball but it was not on the same floor as I tossed it on it was like it was cloned me my friend finally grouped up and we got the hell out of that place but we ended up coming back the next day because there were planning to demolish it that week but we got lost in the building in this like untouched room it was the weirdest thing but we ended up getting out of the building and never went back

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  5. Hi Jim, Thank you for the article. My mom was born in this hospital in 1959. I have not been able to find any information about her birth.

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  6. To be honest, this made me cry a little, I was born at Riverside Hospital and I walked past to see the place and it was gone. I was looking online to try and see what became of it and I ran across this article. My hear screams out right now. Long Live the Kids of Riverside!!!

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  7. I had hiatel surgery in 1998,atRiverside Mercy Hospital,l need my records,for health issues.

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  8. Hey Jim! Hope everything is good with you in this crazy world we are all living in currently. You haven't given up exploring have you? Always loved your site and adventures! Hope all is well!

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  9. really appreciable tremendous knowledge i recommend if you want to be a true muslim so plz visit truemuslims

    ReplyDelete