What’s next for the former Brackenridge Hospital?

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Between the walls of the former University Medical Center Brackenridge Hospital, countless lives are connected.

Today, the old hospital sits at the corner of 15th and Red River Streets, just west of I-35. 

Wednesday, Central Health (Travis County’s Healthcare district) announced that demolition of the nine-story hospital building will begin this summer, starting with the old hospital’s tower. Central Health, which is funded by Travis County taxpayers, owns the property around the tower and plans to redevelop it in order to generate money to fund health care for low-income Travis County residents. 

Currently, Central Health funds healthcare for about one in seven Travis County residents, nearly 184,000 people. 

Former patients, nurses, and doctors shared their memories of the old building Wednesday morning at a ceremony to say goodbye to Brackenridge. 

Former Chief of Surgery at Brackenridge Dr. Thomas Coopwood spoke to attendees there about his more than 30 years of work at the hospital. 

“Today we come to say goodbye to an old friend who has served us well and whose glory days are past,” Coopwood said. 

One former patient told attendees at the ceremony he owes his life to the staff at the old building. Kirk Van Zandt credits the hospital’s trauma center for saving him 33 years ago after a motorcycle crash in Austin when he was a sophomore in college.