Honoring a Hazen landmark
By Daniel ArensMany Hazen residents are excited about a new addition to the community: Hazen Pioneer Apartments, a low-income senior housing building. The apartment complex will be built on the site of the former Hazen Pioneer Park Home, and Hazen Community Development Executive Director Buster Langowski said the design of the new building will be much the same as the old, although an addition will be added.
This change for a notable building in the community will undoubtedly bring to mind memories for many people. After all, a large number of lifelong Hazen residents were born in the building when it was the old Hazen Memorial Hospital, and many visited family members there when it was a senior living center.
The property where the Hazen Pioneer Park Home sat has a rich history in Hazen, which can be traced back as far as 1914, when a William Chase cement block plant was located at the site, according to a book of Hazen history published in 1988 to celebrate the town’s 75th anniversary. In April 1932, the George Washington City Park was established just east of the park home site, on the corner of Main Street and 4th Ave. NE.
Dreams of a hospital for Hazen went back as far as 1915, although several ideas for building this hospital remained only ideas. A temporary “hospital” opened within the school building in 1918 to handle the Spanish influenza epidemic, but lasted only briefly.