Here's a reminder about the Town Hall Meeting tonight regarding Montgomery Hospital, at 6 pm in the Community Room of the Human Services Center on Dekalb and Fornance. Yes, it'll probably be raining and you won't feel like going out. It's been more than a month since the last Town Hall, so it's hard even to remember what the controversy was about. And isn't the demolition of Montgomery Hospital a done deal anyway? At least, that's what everyone's saying.
That's what Einstein hopes you'll be thinking.
Let me refresh your memories. At last month's meeting, Einstein (the owner of the property) and Elon (the developer) came in like steamrollers. They said that the hospital buildings weren't historic, and implied that they were structurally unsafe and that the neighborhood was in imminent danger. Besides fear tactics, they sought to disempower opposing opinions by speaking as if the hospital were already leveled and there was no turning back. They kept saying if we don't go along with their plan, we'll be left with a vacant building forever. They also glossed over the real danger to the community--the demolition process--and failed to mention that the new buildings would be made of wood, not masonry.
You all DO understand that these strategies weren't spur of the moment, right? They're pros at this sort of crowd control.
In the month since, the Preservation Society has found documented proof that the buildings are not only on the Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places, but have been declared by the National Park Service as eligible for the National Register. Einstein very likely knew about these documents 2 years ago. Demolishing a historic property like this means the developer can't access federal funding at all, and possibly couldn't get state funding either.
Einstein kept saying the buildings were too many square feet and too
wide to be developed. Only the Horsey Pavilion is too wide, and without
it, the square footage is comparable to Elon's plans.
all that, Einstein's and Elon's plans violate Norristown's Comprehensive
Plan and Zoning Code. There's nothing in what they have planned that
could be considered in Norristown's best interest, which isn't
surprising since nothing Einstein has done since buying Montgomery
Hospital has been good for our town. They've taken easy access to
healthcare out of the heart of our community, along with one of our
largest sources of jobs. Now they want to destroy one of our most
historic buildings. Does that sound like someone who cares about us?
So put on your raincoat tonight and come out to hear both sides of the issue, and to voice your opinion.