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Brick by brick

VDMC?plans to sell commemorative bricks from the old hospital building

August 31, 2012
Jim Krajewski - Staff Writer ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

Demolition at the old Hamilton County Public Hospital is continuing and several community members have expressed interest in obtaining a piece of that Webster City history. Director of public relations for Van Diest Medical Center Lori Foster said an employee at the hospital suggested selling bricks from the old hospital.

After a couple phone calls and some online conversations expressed interested in buying those bricks, Foster said the Hamilton County Public Hospital Foundation Board announced they would be selling bricks from the old hospital for $20 each. The numbered bricks will have a commemorative plaque with an image of the hospital and dates of its operation.

Foster said that people in and outside Hamilton County have been interested in the commemorative bricks for historical and sentimental reasons.

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The commemorative bricks will feature an illustration of the old hospital. They will also be numbred and feature the dates of the hospital’s operation.

"There are so many of life's most significant moments that happen in a hospital, including the death of a loved one or the birth of a child," Foster said. "Since we have interest, why not try incorporate something that has a little more meaning to it so people can keep a piece of history with them?"

The money from the brick sales will go to the foundation building fund, which was established with the construction of Van Diest Medical Center. That campaign has a five year timeline so people could set up yearly donations, according to Foster. She said that campaign is ongoing and selling these bricks is a way to generate more money for the foundation, future building projects and future healthcare needs for the hospital.

Large piles of rubble and several holes in the building are visible from Ohio Street outside the hospital, but much of the demolition has been inside the old hospital and many of the bricks are still intact.

Foster said plates for the bricks are being produced now, but there is no current time available for when the bricks will begin to be sold. She said they will be sold as soon as those bricks become available.

Foster said that current plans are to sell 500 bricks. However, she said it's possible they would sell more.

"It'd be great if there's interest in doing more than 500 and we're able to get those bricks. I'm sure we'd entertain the idea of doing more," Foster said.

To purchase bricks, contact Foster via phone, 832-7877, or by email at



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