Mercer Hospital Was Renamed To The Mercer Medical Center in 1973. By 2011 The Hospital Was Abandoned.

In 1973, Mercer Hospital changed its name to Mercer Medical Center. The hospital was closed in 2011. Since then, the former Mercer Hospital campus has been abandoned, with severe internal damage caused by vandals and scrappers.

The city of Trenton’s need for medical treatment was expanding in the late 1800s. The Fisk family donated some land on the city’s west side to the board of directors for the new hospital, called the Mercer Hospital, in 1892. In 1895, the hospital admitted its first patients while also establishing a nursing school on the premises. On the first floor, there was a reception area, eating, and conference rooms; on the second floor, there were five patient rooms and a children’s ward; and on the third floor, there were three wards with 25 beds and six cribs.

Many departments were built across the additional wings of the Mercer Hospital in 1902. Throughout the next few decades, the hospital gained various significant extensions, the most of which were sponsored by private benefactors. In 1922, a power plant, central heating facility, and laundry building were erected. During and after WWII, Mercer Hospital was chronically overcrowded. The Maternity Building was enlarged and remodeled in 1959, and patient facilities were upgraded to accommodate 330 beds in 1961.

In 1973, Mercer Hospital was renamed the Mercer Medical Center to better represent its broad services. A significant demolition effort took conducted surrounding the hospital in the mid-1970s. All of the houses on Rutherford and Bellevue Avenues, all the way down to Prospect Street, were destroyed. By the time this latest renovation was done, the hospital had more than 650,000 square feet of building space, making it one of the state’s largest medical institutions.

In January 2005, Capital Health System announced its intention to shutter Mercer Hospital and build a new acute care hospital in Hopewell Township in order to achieve a better payer mix of more affluent, insured patients. The community was outraged to learn this. It was quite a distance from the Mercer Hospital neighborhood. People were concerned that an ambulance dispatched from the new hospital would take much too long to arrive and then return, when they now had medical treatment right outside their door. The hospital has closed its doors by 2011.They closed everything save their satellite emergency department, which was kept open to pacify the irate locals. Unfortunately, two years later, the ER had also shuttered.

The property was sold to a Global Life Enterprises developer in 2013, but its ambitions to rebuild it into a health and wellness complex were thwarted owing to a lack of funds. Yet, the complex was not totally forgotten. A security guard was hired to sit inside and deter intruders. He’d rigged up various noise traps and chains around many internal doors. However, security duties moved at some time, and the individual was only inside for a few years. Since then, the defunct Mercer Hospital complex has remained unoccupied, with vandals and scrappers inflicting severe damage to the inside of the buildings. Plans are now being developed to restore the land to community usage.

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