img0108.jpgWhat would you salvage from a building before it is torn down?

Fire hoses, time clocks, light fixtures, outlet & switch cover plates, drinking fountains, p-traps from sinks, window screens, paper towel dispensers, and elevators #20 & #21 are just a few of the items the University Hospitals requested to be salvaged from Powell Hall prior to its demolition in 1981. The building was located on the site of today’s University of Minnesota Medical Center.

Powell Hall was built as a residence hall for student nurses and their supervisors. Dedicated in 1933 as the Nurses’ Hall, it was later named for Louise Powell, Superintendent of Nurses and later Director of the School of Nursing from 1910-1924, on the occasion of the School’s 30th anniversary in 1939. The building was easily identifiable by the bronze cupola on its roof. The cupola now serves as a historical marker near the original site. The picture above was taken after the cupola was removed.

University Hospitals were not the only interested party in salvaging material from Powell Hall. Other University departments and private individuals laid claim to materials and mementos in the months leading up to the demolition. Written requests for salvaged materials included windows, a dumbwaiter, wood paneling, chandeliers, patio stones, and an offer to provide a new home for a wishing well.

Did you take home a souvenir from Powell Hall? Let us know with a comment!

Read the document below to learn more about the pre-demolition salvage operation and see who got what.


1 Comment on "Salvage"

  1. Back in 1969-1970 I worked at the U of M Hospital business office. Powell Hall was used as s storage place for some of the old records and files. Powell Hall was a beautiful building with many small rooms and long hallways. It was like going into a back in time experience then.
    Several times I made trips to explore Powell Hall looking for a document to use in the business office. Storage space was a premium. Other more unusual places were used to place boxes and file cabinets under lock and key to be accessed later.

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