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The walls came tumbling down

The fall of the old Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, on September 9, 1995.

In 1985, leaders of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital decided it was time to move the hospital from its location adjacent to Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., to a larger campus in Lebanon, just south of Hanover. Six years later, the move occurred, leaving empty the buildings that had been home to the hospital since its founding in 1893. And on the morning of September 9, 1995, a crowd gathered to watch the planned destruction of the old hospital to make way for new Dartmouth College facilities.

In a speech before the implosion, Dr. James Varnum, who had been president of Mary Hitchcock since 1978, discussed the hospital's long history. The buildings had been essential, he said, but it was the people inside those buildings who made the hospital such a warm environment. When he returned to the Hanover location just after the move to Lebanon, he found that without those people, the buildings no longer felt so welcoming. "The life and spirit had moved to our new facility," he said. "It was time to move on." To see the speeches marking the occasion and the implosion itself (as well as several instant replays), watch the first video below. Or, to skip straight to the implosion, watch the second video.

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