Your First Look at Lurie Children’s Hospital

Image announcing Lurie Children's Hospital opening June 9Children’s Memorial Hospital is getting a new home in Chicago next month. As with any move there’s much to be done, but it’s astonishing to consider the innumerable details involved in planning, building, and relocating an organization of this scale. I recently had the opportunity to tour the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital facility and it’s clear that amid all the preparations the kids truly come first.

Standing 23 stories above Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, Lurie Children’s is the tallest hospital in the world. The new hospital has been named in honor of Anne Lurie, a local philanthropist and former nurse at Children’s, who pledged $100 million to the project. There are many benefits to the new  1.25 million square feet space, but what struck me most was the inspiring and supportive environment that permeated the hospital.

An Inviting Hospital Experience

Alongside the space-age medical technology, a Children’s Advisory Board of current and former patients weighed in on elements that would make the hospital experience less intimidating to patients and their families. This includes art along the hallways leading to operating rooms as well as inside the rooms.
An operating room at Lurie Children's Hospital includes colorful artwork

Colorful wall murals at Lurie Children's Hospital

Each floor of the hospital is named after a different Chicago community partner and decorated to match. On the first two floors, visitors are greeted by Shedd aquarium whales and a living fish tank. Interestingly, the emergency room is located on the second floor with access via an enclosed ambulance bay and special elevators for ER patients.

Shedd Aquarium whales greet visitors to Lurie Children's Hospital

Patients at Lurie Children's Hospital can enjoy a colorful aquarium

The scariness of surgery is lessened with a submarine CT scan and a safari surgery waiting room.
A submarine CT scan at Lurie Children's Hospital A safari waiting room at Lurie Children's Hospital

Brightly colored hospital units flood with natural light and exquisite views.
Bright colors abound at Lurie Children's Hospital Natural light and lake views from a Lurie Children's Hospital patient room window

Expanding Service

The Lurie Children’s facility will give the hospital the long-overdue space it needs to serve its patients as well as room to grow. This includes 288 private rooms equipped with accommodations for families with the capacity to expand to 313 rooms. Each inpatient room has a pull-out couch for those who want to sleep near their child. Additionally, there are lounges and sibling play areas nearby so families can relax only steps away.
Inpatient rooms at Lurie Children's Hospital include a pull-out couch for family Facilitie at Lurie Children's Hospital

Thoughtful Details

The hospital’s new location on the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine campus will strengthen research opportunities. It will also be attached via walkway to the adjacent Prentice Women’s Hospital to allow for the quick transfer of newborns in critical condition, while allowing the mother to visit without having to discharge from Prentice.

Lurie Children’s will be home to an old fashioned Walgreens soda shop and pharmacy, modeled after its first locations. Walgreens will provide at-home and even hospital bedside delivery, allowing families to remain with their children. An in-unit hotel for inpatient families will be serviced by Affinia.

An incredible degree of thoughtfulness is evident in the stimulating details around every corner at Lurie Children’s. For example, each night a child will be selected to program the color and frequency of the Children’s LED hand logo on the building’s exterior using a flat screen TV in their room. Every patient elevator features an activity like pressing buttons to hearing different city traffic sounds. Themed display boxes provide an interesting distraction as patients are wheeled throughout their unit, and on the Adler Planetarium-sponsored floor an astrology wall will light up constellations on command.

Plane and balloon decorations at Lurie Children's Hospital Adler Planetarium sponsored an astrology wall at Lurie Children's Hospital

The Museum of Science & Industry’s interactive butterfly wall already had already won some fans during its first public outing.
The Museum of Science and Industry sponsored an interactive butterfly wall at Lurie Children's Hospital A Museum of Science and Industry display at Lurie Children's Hospital

One entire floor is devoted to fun activities away from all of the medical devices.  Featuring a salon, meditation room, and teen lounge, among other things, patients can enjoy time away in a less intimidating hospital setting.
Fun Chicago scenes are featured at Lurie Children's Hospital Lurie Children's Hospital features a lounge for teens

A chapel will be open at all times, providing a space of solace and reflection.
The Lurie Children's Hospital chapel is open at all times

Founders Tree House at Lurie Children's Hospital

Interactive Elements

A piece of the Children’s Memorial Hospital’s Lincoln Park heritage is proudly showcased in the Founder’s Tree House. Made of a preserved Lincoln Park tree dating back to the 1896 World’s Fair, the tree house connects patients to the garden below, which they are unable to enter.

Visitors can interact in an actual former Chicago Fire Department truck. Nearby, an installation by Jaume Plensa dazzles. Plensa is also the designer behind Millennium Park’s Crown Fountain.
Kids can play on a former Chicago Fire truck at Lurie Children's Hospital Jaume Plensa's installation at Lurie Children's Hospital

The 5,000 sq. ft. Crown Sky Garden offers a stunning green space of renewal.
Sky Garden at Lurie Children's Hospital Lurie Children's Hospital features a Sky Garden

Model of Lurie Children's Hospital in ChicagoMaking Medical History

Lurie Children’s is making medical history in Chicago and in the world. Aside from the miracles accomplished by its devoted staff every day, this engaging and compassionate space itself is a wonder to behold.

While the official opening is not until June, Lurie Children’s welcomes the Chicago community to tour its new facility this weekend. Tour this incredible institution this Saturday, May 12 between 10am – 5pm. Click here to RSVP or for more information.

If you would like to make a donation to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital you may do so here.

If you still need motivation, check out this promotional song featuring hospital employees and Chicago celebs including Children’s patient and YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
225 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

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