Norristown residents take pride in the unique historical architecture of our town. Montgomery Hospital--opened in 1939, with its vertical lines of blond and brown bricks, and its decorative brick patterns around the top floor--is a stunning example of Depression style Art Deco. In look, it's reminiscent of the residential hotels of the era in US Cities and on the Main Line. Norristown architects have assured us that the building is sound. The Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission has declared the site eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
However, the owner (Einstein) and developer (Elon of the Altman Group) have decided to demolish the hospital and replace it with wooden, 4-story senior housing. The demolition of such a large building so close to houses and business is dangerous and unnecessary. The success of Rittenhouse School as senior apartments proves that such a conversion of a historic building is not only viable but profitable.
Montgomery Hospital is a landmark -- an architectural asset to the community. Like Rittenhouse, Montgomery could be an "address" instead of just a place to live. Nothing that Elon could build there could compare. It would be like trying to replace a classic car with a 4-door sedan.
Norristown has lost too many of its architectural jewels. Residents are still regretting the loss of the Norris Theater and YWCA. Before we regret losing yet another landmark, please support the Norristown Preservation Society's campaign to save Montgomery Hospital by signing this petition.
Please don't allow the destruction of one of Norristown's architectural treasures. Senior housing would be enhanced by using the existing historical structure instead of tearing it down.