I suppose I should flub a hospital where you end up almost losing your life because of a staph infection, but I'll leave that alone for now. Or how about a city that thinks it's doing great but continues to lose population? Doesn't seem to add up. Instead I'm going to go with a hospital that tears down perfectly good housing to expand. I have an affliction for seeing good housing torn down that a new medical arts building can't cure.

Cottage Hospital is in the process of tearing down approximately six houses to make room for a new medical office building. One would have to seriously ask whether the destruction of sound, adequate housing is reasonable to make room for an administrator's legacy? Beyond that reason, it would be hard to come to any other conclusion as to why a hospital in Galesburg would expand under the current economic and population conditions. One comes to the conclusion that this expansion has more to do with pride and competition than it does with the need to have more medical office space.

Tearing down the old to make way for the new is certainly not something unique to Cottage. We have seen this happen on numerous occasions in Galesburg, the most infamous being the overnight destruction of the train depot. There's something about people wanting new, rather than making do or remodeling. Business decisions are made based on pride and emotionalism versus preservation, simplicity, and conservation of resources. More importantly is the fact that perfectly good housing is lost to the community. Many people in Galesburg live in sub-standard housing, most rented by unscrupulous landlords who do not keep up the properties but are willing to charge large and unreasonable amounts of rent. Cottage did a good job keeping up these rentals, most recently having done some work on them. Now they're gone. Galesburg needs more good rental properties, not fewer.

But we will gain a new medical arts building. I thought the other one was just fine, but who am I? The new one may give us more doctors specializing in more diseases and treatments, those specialty areas where most of us now go to Peoria, Iowa City, Mayo Clinic, and Springfield to seek relief. Perhaps this will be the start of something big.

Believing that not to be likely, my own summary of the whole expansion is that it is an arrogant waste of perfectly good housing that was much needed in Galesburg. I believe much more so than a new medical arts building. So here's to you Cottage. Welcome to the flub-a-dub club.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online October 24, 2000

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