St. Michael’s Hospital and Nursing Home
Fifty years ago the National Historic Preservation Act was created to help preserve the diverse archaeological and architectural treasures of America. In the early 1990s, two such buildings related to the early medical history of Grand Forks were in serious need of preservation. The St. Michael's Hospital and Nurses' Residence consisted of two buildings connected by a ground level passage. Designed by George Hancock, both buildings are in Classical Revival style. St. Michael's Hospital, although not entirely completed until 1908, was dedicated on December 11, 1907. In 1913, the Nurses' Residence was constructed south of the hospital and the two buildings were connected for ease of access. The brick buildings are three stories above raised basements, and basically rectangular with symmetrical facades. By today’s standards they were not large, with the hospital approximately 50 by 110 feet and the Nurses' Residence 50 by 75 feet.
St. Michael’s Hospital served the Grand Forks area from 1908 until 1951 when the hospital moved to larger facilities. It was sold to the Sister of St. Francis in1953. Originally the rooms consisted of plaster walls with hardwood and patterned octagonal tile floors. Interior doors were paneled. The hospital operating room was situated on the top floor and had a marble facing with a mirrored skylight to provide adequate light for surgery.
The Sisters of St. Francis altered the buildings substantially when they were converted to become St. Anne’s Nursing Home. On the first floor a larger dining area was created using part of the hallways, and the chapel on the second floor was enlarged. The entire ground floor of the Nurses' Residence was extensively altered. By 1955, the operating room on the fourth floor was remodeled. When the nursing home closed in 1981, the buildings became vacant. Rehabilitation of the structures began in 1989, but due to water damage and vandalism, little of the original interior remained intact and major revisions were required. The exterior retained much of its integrity. On this date in 1995, the St. Michaels Hospital and Nurse’s Residence was placed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Now known as “Riverside Manor,” the complex provides low-income housing on the banks of the Red River, with the front of the buildings approachable via the Greenway trail.
Dakota Datebook by Jim Davis
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form- St. Michael’s Hospital and Nurses Residence, March 20, 1995