Hey Blake,

What is happening with the old Lindy Boggs Medical Center building in Mid-City? There's still construction fencing around it but no action that I can tell. Why didn't the St. Margaret's people use some of the old building? Are there any plans to demolish/rebuild the old building or turn it into ritzy apartments or something?

Dear Reader,

  Whether you remember it as Mercy Hospital, Mercy+Baptist or the Lindy Boggs Medical Center, the building at the corner of Bienville Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway in Mid-City still bears the scars of Hurricane Katrina and the federal flood 10 ten years later.

  A Roman Catholic order of nuns called the Sisters of Mercy opened the facility as Mercy Hospital in June 1953. They had operated a hospital on Annunciation Street in the Lower Garden District since 1924, and in 1949 purchased the land in Mid-City for $280,000 with plans to build a new 219-bed hospital, according to an article in The Times-Picayune.

  In 1993, Mercy merged with another faith-based facility, Southern Baptist Hospital, the Uptown institution the Southern Baptist Convention had run for more than 65 years. The two facilities operated their respective campuses as Mercy+Baptist. Later, Tenet Healthcare bought the Mid-City facility and renamed it in honor of Lindy Boggs, the beloved former U.S. congresswoman and ambassador to the Holy See.

  The hospital was inundated following Katrina. In 2013, after a $37 million renovation, the former medical office building reopened as a nursing facility under the ownership of St. Margaret's, which has been operating in the city for more than a century.

  "We planned to open a cardiovascular hospital with LSU in the remaining vacant portion of the medical center," said Michael Gilman, St. Margaret's director of development. "However, in the final stages of planning, the state of Louisiana decided that it could not participate in the project, rendering [the project] financially unfeasible — the reason likely being that our facility would have undermined the sustainability and viability of the nearby University Medical Center."

  Gilman added that St. Margaret's is eager to redevelop the rest of the old Mercy site, but litigation is holding up progress. He said remediation work is underway to prevent environmental issues for future development.