SANDPOINT — The historic Brown House on the grounds of Bonner General Health was demolished on Wednesday.
The hospital, which acquired the property in 1999, used the stately dwelling overlooking Sand Creek as temporary office and conference space. Bonner General CEO Sheryl Rickard said the home couldn’t be used as permanent office space because it lacked a cooling system and was not compliant with the Americans with Disability’s Act.
“We made the decision years ago that it was not prudent to put our limited funds into renovating the house to bring it up to code and to be ADA compliant and that we needed to put any available funds into patient care, equipment, and technology upgrades. We are now in need of utilizing that property for hospital expansion,” Rickard said in a statement.
The Brown House will be supplanted by a new, smaller building which can be expanded if need be, Rickard added. Initially, the new building will house a new generator for the hospital.
The dwelling was the former home of Jim and Jean Brown. Jim Brown operated the Pack River Lumber Co. and helped found Schweitzer Mountain Resort. The Browns’ daughter, Bobbie Huguenin, was given control of the resort, which resulted in the construction of a new day lodge, the Great Escape Quad Chairlift and the 82-Green Gables Lodge, which has been rechristened the Selkirk Lodge.
Harbor Properties and the McCaw family partnered up and acquired the resort in 1999. The partnership later dissolved, leaving the McCaw family as the resort’s sole owner, according to the resort.
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