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By the late 1960s the hospital had begun to change its approach to site development. No longer would buildings be built as separate entities, without relationship to the whole, to meet the needs of the moment.
Instead, Northwest began the long process of developing a master plan. In 1967, the board retained James A. Hamilton Associates, Inc., to study the hospital's future and in 1969 formed the long-range planning committee.
This committee comprised representatives from the board of trus-tees, the administration, and the medical staff. The board deliberately chose not to have professional planners on the committee, relying instead on the information from James A. Hamilton; trustees' expertise in law, building, real estate, and engineering; and the management and medical expertise of the administrative and medical staffs. Lawrence and Hazen was brought in to help with architectural details.
In 1971 the hospital developed a site plan, under the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process and the City Planning Commission approved the PUD. This cleared the way for the Medical Arts Building and, later, the five-story tower and Medical Office Building.
The changing nature of medicine caused Northwest to begin to incorporate the office buildings into its everyday operations. The hospital moved some of its outpatient and administrative functions from the PCC to the new Medical Arts Building, and Allan Davis suggested that a shuttle bus might run between the hospital proper and the office building. The Medical Office Building, completed in 1983, was physically connected to the new tower by a second-story skybridge, making it an integral part of the hospital.
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