Construction of Johnston Hall Memorial on Allina Health Faribault Medical Center campus now underway

FARIBAULT, Minn. (October 27, 2022) — Land is now being cleared on the Allina Health Faribault Medical Center campus for the Johnston Hall Memorial which will be built next spring. The memorial will commemorate Johnston Hall, which was built in 1888 and was deconstructed in 2021. It will be built on State Avenue, across from the hospital and clinic entrances, adjacent to the employee and visitor overflow parking.

 

Upon the Faribault City Council’s approval to take down the historic building, a committee was established by Allina Health to develop a plan to memorialize the building. This project is the culmination of that committee’s work over the last several months.

 

“The memorial committee began meeting before Johnston Hall was taken down,” says Natalie Ginter, manager of Community Engagement at Allina Health and chair of the memorial’s planning team. “We really tried to ensure historic artifacts like stone, plaques and documents from Johnston Hall were preserved for the community and a future memorial. I think the community will be pleased with the result when it’s completed next year.”

 

The Johnston Hall Memorial committee set several goals for the memorial:

  • to ensure the memorial would be accessible and visible
  • to utilize Johnston Hall stone and artifacts
  • to have an educational component
  • be mindful of the purpose and mission on the campus to provide a healing environment, and
  • be located as close as possible to where Johnston Hall once stood

Among the artifacts saved from Johnston Hall and preserved include the cornerstone which contained a time capsule with several documents not seen in 133 years. Wood beams, several pallets of limestone, and a bronze plaque were also among the items saved. All of the items in the time capsule were donated to the Rice County Historical Society and the Cathedral of our Merciful Savior in Faribault for proper preservation and display.

 

For the selected memorial concept, the committee partnered with Roger Koopman, retired and locally renowned landscape designer from Faribault to develop the memorial’s design.

 

The Memorial Garden will feature the Seabury Hall bronze plaque, Johnston Hall stone used in pathway, center monument and seating, and a virtual reality component including a QR code to a feature film on Johnston Hall produced by the 1855 History Team and Sam Temple. It will provide a dedicated space for reflection, set away from patient and traffic flow with a micro park feel.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 10 hospitals / 13 campuses, 15 retail pharmacies, and many specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services.