Old Copley Hospital, Aurora, Illinois
In April 1886, the Aurora Hospital Association was established with the mission to develop and maintain a hospital for the reception and medical/surgical treatment of Aurora residents. Aurora’s first hospital soon opened in a rented brick house near the corner of 4th and Clark Street. Once opened, efforts to build a new dedicated hospital continued in earnest. This new hospital was opened in the winter of 1888 on South Lincoln Avenue where it still stands today. The 2.5 story red brick building featured eight private rooms, a women’s ward with six beds and a men’s ward with seven beds as well as five nursery beds.
As Aurora’s healthcare needs grew, the drive to further expand the hospital continued. In 1916, the Hospital’s first expansion, a five-story building located immediately north of the 1888 building, was opened. This new wing was touted as the first modern hospital in Aurora with wide corridors, tile surfaces, and large windows for improved ventilation.
In 1927, Col. Ira C. Copley, an Aurora resident and head of Copley Press, donated $1 million to the hospital’s building fund along with property and a $1.3 million endowment fund for the expansion and operation of the hospital. This support led to a doubling of the hospital’s capacity with the opening of a new wing in 1932. Further expansions continued into the 1980s as advances in medicine and community needs pushed for growth.
By the mid-90s, the hospital footprint had grown to over 340,000 square feet. But the hospital’s aging infrastructure became too much to maintain. It was closed in 1995, ending a history of over 100 years of healthcare, education, and healing.
Old Copley Hospital has been re-imagined and redesigned as a campus community providing needed homes for both seniors and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also provides healthcare services and a neighborhood park that was a former parking lot.
Bardwell Residences is part of the complex and offers senior living, assisted living and memory care services to older adults. Experience a newly restored piece of Aurora’s rich history at Bardwell Residences. Call 630-892-5790 to reserve your apartment today.