June 2010 Download PDF

Construction will create economic opportunities, align with Newark’s redevelopment efforts, and increase the hospital’s ability to keep up with growing demand.

NEWARK, NJ – Architecture firm Francis Cauffman announces that it has started on Phase One of a comprehensive, $225 million master plan to address the projected needs of Saint Michael’s Medical Center (SMMC), a member of the Catholic Health East system. The master plan will expand the hospital, dramatically upgrade its capacity, and improve circulation on its urban campus.

The 357-bed hospital is a regional healthcare, teaching, and research center located in Newark’s central business district. SMMC, which was established by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in 1867, currently has 750,000 sq. ft. of space in nine buildings that are an average of 66 years old. Adjacent to the Newark Museum, the SMMC campus occupies a city block that is bounded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, James Street, University Avenue, and Central Avenue.

“Saint Michael’s has played an important pioneering role in the history of the New Jersey health care,” said Terence French, executive vice president at Catholic Health East New Jersey. “This project maintains and strengthens that role, advances the growth strategy of our hospital and enables us to build upon our long tradition of compassionate service to the local community. Francis Cauffman understands both our vision for the future of St. Michael’s and our respect for the hospital’s past.”

Though the hospital’s facilities have evolved for nearly a century and a half, exponential growth in the community and numerous closings and reductions in services at Essex County hospitals have placed additional demands on SMMC. The new project is designed to address the immediate needs of the community while allowing for future growth.

Phase One is 220,000 sq. ft. of new construction, which adds 10% of space to the existing campus. It includes a new 120,000-sq.-ft., $48M Tower Building that will link the link the hospital’s Main Building, built in 1992, and its historic Annex Building, built in 1900. It also includes infrastructure stabilization and renovations. A new professional office building and 450-car parking garage, which are under a separate contract, are also part of Phase One. Occupancy is expected in mid-2012.

“Our master plan centers around the Tower Building, which gives the hospital a true ‘hub’ of a 21st-century medical center,” explained James Crispino, AIA, president of Francis Cauffman. “This focal point connects the existing buildings and creates a hospital that has greater capacity yet is more efficient, more compact, and easier for patients to use.”

The four-story Tower building will add an expanded emergency department, clinical services, and three bed floors, as well as a lobby and patient access center, gift shop, and auditorium. This is critical to accommodate SMMC’s high utilization rate of 85% for medical and surgical beds, with a surge on some units of more than 95%. If needed, the Tower building can vertically expand three more stories.

As a central link, the Tower building will create more efficient connections between the other hospital buildings, making them more accessible and functional. The professional office building will contain physician offices, ambulatory services, and ground-level retail space, as well as parking.

In future phases, three older buildings will be demolished in order to reorganize the campus, amplify clinical specialty services, and realign ancillary services for greater efficiency. These include a new medical education building; the conversion of the historic St. Michael’s Hospital Buildings into retail space, administrative offices, and living quarters for medical residents; St. Michael’s Court, a new vehicular entry that improves access to and from the campus; and a new cancer center.

Francis Cauffman has coordinated its master planning efforts with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Newark Museum, and Rutgers University as part of Newark’s Broad Street Station District Redevelopment Plan. The SMMC project, which also includes landscape and streetscape improvements, contributes to the plan’s estimated investment of $1 billion to revitalize this urban area.


Francis Cauffman, an award-winning architecture firm with offices in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, has supported its clients since 1954 with innovative architecture, planning, and interior design services. The practice is recognized for being on the leading edge of new investigations in healthcare, academic research and teaching, corporate research, corporate and advanced technology, and government and justice planning and design. Francis Cauffman has a staff of 130 architects, planners, and interior designers and is active in 20 states and 3 countries. Francis Cauffman has completed projects for Atlantic Health’s Morristown Hospital and AtlantiCare in Atlantic City, and is currently working on the expansion of St. Joseph’s Health System in Paterson and Wayne, NJ.

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