Hospice House rising up on Southwest Trafficway

The walls are up on the new St. Luke’s Hospice House at 37th and Southwest Trafficway. That’s the former site of the Cresthaven Nursing Home, vacant for 20 years. Photo courtesy St. Luke’s Health Care Systems.

For many years Midtown residents dreamed up plans and development ideas for reusing a vacant old red brick nursing home at 37th and Southwest Trafficway. The large building sat back from the busy street and intrigued people who saw it as a potential bed and breakfast, local concert venue or showroom for high-end garden ornaments.

The Cresthaven Nursing Home at 37th and Southwest Trafficway, as demolition began earlier this year.

Those driving past the area today see the site finally coming to life. The Cresthaven has been demolished, and in its place, St. Luke’s Health System is building a new freestanding hospice facility. Groundbreaking began on March 30 and the facility is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012.

According to St. Luke’s, the $7 million, 25,000-square-foot facility will include twelve individual patient suites, a full-service kitchen, and indoor and outdoor chapels.

Recent construction at the Hospice House.

Since so many people have been interested in the property over the years, the Midtown KC Post asked Carol Quiring, President and CEO, of Saint Luke’s Homecare and Hospice, for a progress report.

MTKCP: What is the need for a hospice facility in Midtown Kansas City? 

Quiring: The only inpatient hospice programs are located either in the northland, eastern Jackson County, or far southern Jackson County.  Both the northland and eastern Jackson County inpatient programs are located inside acute care hospitals.  Saint Luke’s Hospice House will be the first to serve the Kansas City metropolitan area and will be a free standing house.

MTKCP: People driving up and down Southwest Trafficway right now can see that the walls of the house have gone up. What progress has been made over the last few months and what is coming up next?  

The retaining wall.

Quiring: Since breaking ground on our twelve bed Hospice House, significant progress has been made.  The first actions taken were to build a very large naturally appearing stone retaining wall.  A wall of this magnitude and with this visual appearance is pretty unusual in the Midtown area.  The hillside on the west side of the house has been graded and seeded for a spring debut.  After completing the foundation work and pouring of the pad, walls and roof trusses have been placed.  Our goal is to have the house watertight by the first of December.  Brick has begun going up and is scheduled for completion in February, weather permitting.   Inside we will continue through the spring and landscaping should be completed early summer.   We are currently on schedule to take possession of the house by mid-summer 2013.  Much care has been taken to ensure the house is conserving of energy.  We are on target at this time for designation of a LEED silver building.

MTKCP: On the front of the building, a local artist will be creating a special stained glass window for the chapel. Can you tell us about that project?   

Quiring: The window facing the Trafficway in the chapel will contain a stained glass piece of the “Tree of Life”.

Get updates on Hospice House construction


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