Old Copley Hospital/Bloomhaven
If you’ve made your way into the city of Aurora, Illinois since 1995, chances are you’re familiar with Old Copley Hospital. While it was once a thriving medical center, it was abandoned in the early 90’s. Since then, the property has been subject to all sorts of damage, ranging from vandalism to black mold.
As part of Aurora’s efforts to redevelop and improve the city, the building was revitalized into senior housing, educational facilities, apartments, and health care offices known as Bloomhaven.
The 3 main areas of Bloomhaven include:
- Weston Bridges, a residential community for individuals with developmental disabilities
- Bardwell Residences, an assisted living community with a full array of amenities
- Bloomhaven Medical & Wellness Center, a site with leased medical office space for providers who will service both the needs of the community and the residents of Bardwell and Weston Bridges.
When Was Old Copley Hospital Abandoned?
Old Copley Hospital was abandoned in 1995. It operated at the Lincoln Avenue location for over 60 years before it became vacant. A new hospital location was built in the 90’s, so the original facility closed its doors.
Sadly, the property owners left many valuables behind. In fact, an MRI machine even remained at the building until restoration efforts began!
Since its abandonment, the building has been subjected to serious crime and property damage. It also dangerously became a local attraction for urban explorers and hobbyist paranormal investigators who were interested in touring abandoned properties. This posed as a significant risk to trespassers because the building was so heavily impacted by mold and other contaminants.
Is Old Copley Hospital Haunted?
If YouTube is any indication, many paranormal believers have taken a keen eye to Old Copley Hospital under the belief that the property is haunted. Over the last 25 years, the building has attracted countless adventurers who sought to experience it for themselves. Even though the building posed a tremendous risk to the safety of anyone who entered it, this didn’t stop explorers from trying to sneak a peek inside.
Many locals claim to have witnessed some spooky experiences at the property, ranging from strange voices to floating figures. Past patients even recount seeing visiting nuns and shady figures during their time at the hospital. It isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility considering there was an on-site morgue within the facility, and it was located directly underneath the emergency waiting room.
Whether you’re a believer in the paranormal or not, one thing is for sure: Old Copley was in desperate need for restoration.
What Condition Was Old Copley Hospital In?
Before redevelopment, Old Copley Hospital was in extremely poor condition. Each area of the property had been overtaken by vandalism, water damage, mold, and more. The floors were not secured, which meant several parts of the building were missing walkways entirely. To put it simply, the entire hospital was in near-irreparable condition.
In fact, the building was in such disarray that the City of Aurora sued the owners of the building in 2017. The property eventually was overtaken by mold, asbestos, and lead, making it an even larger concern for locals.
Fast forward to 2020, and the property has been professionally remediated and cleaned. This was the first phase of the plan to restore Copley Hospital, with the subsequent phases including new construction and further restoration.
Old Copley Hospital was restored into a 9-acre campus, called Bloomhaven, that contains senior living residences, medical offices, community parks, and more. Fox Valley Developers is leading the project, with Kluber Architects + Engineers offering architectural services.
Here’s what locals can expect from the Old Copley Hospital redevelopment:
• 120-unit senior living community
• 53-unit independent living community for adults with developmental disabilities
• Medical facility (urgent care, physical therapy, imaging, labs, surgery center)
• Local school district administrative center (East Aurora School District 131 Headquarters)
• 2-acre community park
The first step in restoring Old Copley Hospital was to have it professionally cleaned and abated. The property was severely damaged throughout the years due to mold, and it was also home to both asbestos and lead. The abatement and cleaning process took approximately 9 months, and construction is underway.
One of the most important aspects of Old Copley Hospital’s redevelopment is maintaining as much of the historic aspects of the building as possible. As such, MacRostie Historic Advisors was hired to assist in the preservation.
The building is registered with the National Register of Historic Places, which benefits the community by preventing unnecessary damage to recognized landmarks. Additionally, registering a property with the National Register increases awareness and overall appreciation for significant spaces within a local community.
An example of an area of the property that is being historically restored is the fifth floor of the 1970’s block building, which at one point was home to a maternity ward complete with a “baby viewing” area. This section of the building will be updated for safety and usefulness needs but will still maintain its historic integrity and recognizability.
Fox Valley Developers
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- AIA NEI 2023 Design Award
- 2023 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award
- Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) - Regional Excellence Awards for Equity with Impact
“Whether it be looking at the outside or the inside, it was apparent that reviving the building back to life would be a huge task."
Architectural Designer at Kluber