Photographing the New Hospital Building at Rush

There’s usually a lot more to a great photograph than meets the eye. Steve Gadomski of the Rush Photo Group discusses his recent photo of the new hospital building at Rush University Medical Center in the following video.

Progress Report for Rush’s New Hospital Building

Rush's new hospital building is scheduled to open in 2012.

By Cynthia Castronovo

Even though I have a great view of the north side of the new Rush hospital building from my office in the Triangle Office Building, I regularly review construction reports and walk the campus to see what other things are happening around the East Tower.

During a recent visit to the Orthopedic Building, I was excited to see a number of changes taking place on the south side of the East Tower, including two significant milestones — one functional and one aesthetic.

First, the walkways that connect the Atrium Building to the East Tower are now fully enclosed and really give you a sense of how these two facilities will function together.

These include an “on stage” walkway located on the south side of the East Tower that will be used by our patients and visitors, and a tiered set of walkways on the north side, which will be used by staff and patients. These “off stage” walkways connect corresponding floors on the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth floors of the two buildings. All six of these walkways include glass and façade work that complements the rest of the new hospital’s base or podium. Continue reading

A Fresh Angle on Rush’s New Hospital Building

The new hospital building at Rush University Medical Center is scheduled to open in January of 2012.

By Cynthia Castronovo

For many employees at Rush University Medical Center, the East Tower is right there front and center. It serves as a constant reminder of just how impressive our new hospital building is. Yet at the same time it offers close-up views of the unique architectural features.

And while we are lucky to be able to watch the construction on an intimate, day-to-day basis, it’s important to take a step back occasionally to enjoy the view from a different vantage point. And that’s just what the Rush Photo Group does from time to time when they take photographs of the East Tower from the roof of the Triangle Office Building on Van Buren Street.

In addition to tracking the progress of our new hospital building, these photographs remind us that the East Tower is one of many other facilities across the medical center where we deliver quality care to our patients every day. And with the elevated walkways connecting the East Tower to the Atrium Building now are in place, this becomes even more apparent.

As the East Tower opening in January 2012 draws nearer, take time to stop and enjoy the view. And if you happen to have a camera with you, take a picture and share it with us by sending it to

Cynthia Castronovo is associate director, Internal and Transformation Communications, for Rush University Medical Center. She contributes regular updates about the Rush Transformation.

New Rush Entry Pavilion Begins to Take Shape

By Cynthia Castronovo

The bridge that connects the main parking garage to the Atrium Building has always been a great place to stop and get a close look at the East Tower construction. And now, the view is even more exciting because the Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion is finally starting to take shape with steel structures connecting the new East Tower hospital building to the Atrium Building.

The steel already is in place for the main entry vestibule and the elevated walkway that will connect the fourth floor of the Atrium to the East Tower’s fourth floor — and future home to one of three consecutive floors of the interventional platform. When it is open, this walkway, which is on the south side of the two buildings, will be accessible to patients and visitors, as well as Rush personnel.

On the north side of the building, there will be a tiered set of walkways that will connect corresponding floors on the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth floors. These walkways will be for patient and staff use only. Steel already has been erected on all floors on these north walkways. The third-floor walkway will connect the non-invasive imaging floor of the East Tower to a new elevator being installed in the Atrium that will serve floors one, three, four, five, seven, eight and nine.

Cynthia Castronovo is associate director, Internal and Transformation Communications, for Rush University Medical Center. She contributes regular updates about the Rush Transformation.

Random Facts From the Rush Transformation

By Cynthia Castronovo

Oftentimes, colleagues in Marketing and Communications will come to me for information about the Rush Transformation, especially with regard to the East Tower, our new hospital building. I answer questions on a regular basis ranging from “How big will the East Tower be?” (841,000 square feet) to “How may green roofs are planned across the campus?” (at least five).

I also have learned a lot of information that no one asks about, so I thought I would share some random facts that I have found interesting but haven’t had the opportunity to pass along to anyone. I hope you find these useful.

  • Rush is required to build underground retention tanks to store rainwater for three days before it releases it into the city’s sewer system, and we currently are in the process of installing three of them for the East Tower.  To learn about our green water collection initiatives, check out the Rush News Blog.
  • Cement is one of three components used to make concrete. I still have a Post-it note on my bulletin board reminding me of this because I always seem to use the word cement (incorrectly).
  • A construction milestone occurs when the air handlers are activated on a site — this happened in August in the East Tower.
  • Millwork is custom-built furniture, while casework is prebuilt pieces that are assembled on site. I have this information on another Post-it because I still get them confused.
  • Another minor construction milestone is when the temporary hoists are removed from a construction site and the crews start to use the building’s actual elevators. One of the East Tower’s two hoists was recently removed and the second one will come down in October, and crews have begun to use the East Tower service elevators.

Cynthia Castronovo is associate director, Internal and Transformation Communications, for Rush University Medical Center. She contributes regular updates about the Rush Transformation.

A Rush Manager’s ‘Opportunity of a Lifetime’

LaToya Artis, project manager, Office of Transformation, Rush University Medical CenterBy LaToya C. Artis

When I was a Rush University Health Systems Management student, I sometimes wondered if all of the group projects I worked on would ever pay off. Well, now I know, as they are essentially a part of my everyday life.

In my role as project manager with the Office of Transformation, I eat, sleep and breathe group projects collaborating with Rush staff to transition, renovate and relocate their departments as part of the Rush Transformation. The work is very interesting, though challenging at times, and always rewarding at the completion.

Most recently, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of Rush departments that relocated to the Orthopedic Building. Each department transition involves a great deal of planning and collaboration among the project managers, architects, contractors, moving companies, and most importantly the departments and support services. The process begins with a series of planning sessions. Continue reading

Exterior of Rush Hospital Building Nears Completion

By Cynthia Castronovo

It’s strange to look up at the East Tower and see that the familiar yellow exterior is slowly disappearing. The attention-grabbing color helped to signal the new hospital building‘s presence and call attention to its unique design.

I recently asked one of the construction guys to explain to me what was happening. I saw that some of the exterior walls were black, some were brown and others white. Not surprising, the answer wasn’t as quick and easy as I’d hoped.

First, I needed to familiarize myself with some basic design components specific to our project. For instance, while we have always referred to the top five floors of the East Tower as the butterfly, I didn’t know that the base was referred to as the podium. The butterfly will house the acute and critical care patient rooms. And the podium will be the home of the emergency department, the interventional platform, noninvasive imaging, women’s services and the NICU.

Next, I learned about the two types of exterior wall systems – the curtain wall and window wall. The curtain wall is a continuous wall of windows and can be found on portions of the podium. The glass panels were specially designed and will help bring natural lighting to many areas of the new hospital. Continue reading

Rush’s New Hospital: First Celebration

By Cynthia Castronovo

I got to take another trip to the construction site last week — this time to participate in the first official celebration inside the new hospital. Over 150 “owners” of the East Tower attended a special kick-off event, highlighted by a tour of their soon-to-be new home.

This group included nurses and doctors, technicians and clinical staff, all of whom will help the Office of Transformation plan for the new hospital‘s opening in January 2012. Selected because they currently work in areas that will move over to the new hospital, these employees play a key role in the opening of the East Tower.

From here on out, they will meet on a regular basis to help plan for the move-in, as well as what happens once the doors open. Because they will begin by studying the floor plan and work flows of their area, it made sense to literally start them out in their new space.

This involved a lot preparation, from safety training for all of the owners, to choreographing the movements of such a large group using only four hoists. But the effort paid off. While some of the areas were further along in construction, everyone got a chance to walk the space and enjoy the views. And although the plans for a champagne toast on the 12th floor were shelved, there certainly was a lot of celebrating going on up there.

We’ll be following the progress of these teams over the next 20 months via blogs, Facebook and Twitter, so keep an eye out.  (In the meantime, I plan to post a blog on how we are communicating with the crews building the new hospital on Rush InPerson in the next couple of weeks.)

Cynthia Castronovo is associate director, Internal and Transformation Communications, for Rush University Medical Center. She contributes regular updates about the Rush Transformation.