Sharing the Rush Transformation

By Cynthia Castronovo

It’s hard to believe that after years of planning, Rush’s new hospital will be opening in just two years.

I starting working at Rush in the spring of 2006, charged with keeping our 10,000-plus employees, students and medical staff informed about the progress of the Transformation. At the time, the opening of our new hospital building seemed so far away and now it’s just around the corner; and I vacillate between being overwhelmed at all the work ahead of us and sad that it too quickly will be over.

View of the new Rush hospital building and Orthopedic Building on Harrison Street.

View of the new Rush hospital building and Orthopedic Building on Harrison Street.

I fully understand how lucky I am to have this unique job. After all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me (and many others) professionally. How many people get to be a part of something like this during the course of their career — to watch a tennis court turn into a state-of-the art medical facility right before their eyes?

Despite my years of experience in public relations, I was excited to join Rush, knowing fully well that there was so much more for me to learn. Little did I realize that it would include such things as how to dismantle a tower crane, or tell the difference between an intensive and extensive green roof.

Over the next several years, I hope to share with you information about the Rush Transformation through the eye of a communicator -– anything from a virtual tour or mock-up, to a particularly lively construction meeting. Stay tuned.

Cynthia Castronovo is associate director, Internal and Transformation Communications, for Rush University Medical Center.

Rush Resources:

Archives Offers Glimpse into Rush, Chicago History

1914 image of Presbyterian Hospital, which would later become Rush University Medical Center

The Daniel Jones Memorial Building, shown here in 1914, was built in 1888 as part of Presbyterian Hospital. Located at Wood Street and Congress Parkway, it is the oldest building on the Rush campus.

By Heather Stecklein

Want to know more about Rush’s legacy? Contact the Rush Archives!

The Rush Archives is the historical voice of Rush University Medical Center and its predecessor institutions. It is located in the basement level of the Triangle Office Building, and it holds a large collection of papers and artifacts from Rush’s past.

Rush Archivists bring Rush’s history to the public. There are Rush Archives exhibits in four campus locations. Currently, the exhibit, “Battling for the Honor of ‘Old Rush’: Sports at Rush Medical College, 1892-1904” is on display in the Rush Library, on the 5th floor of the Armour Academic Center.

In addition, an exhibit of materials drawn by Steven Economou, M.D., is on display just outside of Room 500 in the Professional Building. The hallway outside of the Archives in the basement level of the Triangle Office Building includes an exhibit of postcards from Rush’s past, a selection of materials from medical advertisements, and a hallway of photographs featuring scenes from Rush’s past.

Members of the 1900 Rush football team

Leaders of the 1900 Rush Medical College football team. Most material in "Battling for the Honor of Old Rush" was donated by Mary Harding, whose grandfather, John E. Schwendener, is on the left.

The Archives has digitized a portion of its collection. If you would like to see a selection of Rush documents for yourself, you can explore the Archives’ growing digital library on the Rush Archives Web site.

The Archives is open to researchers, by appointment, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Archivists Heather Stecklein and Nathalie Wheaton can answer questions about events and individuals associated with this institution since Rush Medical College was chartered in 1837. You can contact the Archives at or at (312) 942-7214.

Heather Stecklein is an archivist with Rush University Medical Center.