More than a century ago, Northern Light Mercy Hospital opened in Portland to serve sick patients during the Spanish flu. Now, the hospital at 144 State St. in Portland is on the verge of closing during another global pandemic, this one caused by COVID-19.

But the hospital, which was known as Queen’s Hospital when it opened in 1918, won’t be going away, or going far, for that matter. By Jan. 4, Mercy Hospital will have moved all its patients and staff into a new facility located on the Fore River Parkway.

In September, Mercy Hospital began a phased approach to moving medical practices and hospital departments to its new campus. The new hospital is at 175 Fore River Parkway, while Northern Light Mercy Health Center will be at 195 Fore River Parkway. Northern Light Mercy Outpatient Specialty and Surgery Center will be at 155 Fore River Parkway.

The hospital has posted renderings on its website that show how the new campus buildings look. Features include a dedicated parking lot for the emergency department, new bicycle racks, expanded sidewalks and pedestrian walking trails offering visitors a safe way to connect to the various facilities, trails and benches, trees and a footbridge.

Ed Gilman, director of communications for Northern Light Mercy Hospital, said the move from State Street to the Fore River Parkway is nearly complete.

“We are preparing to make the final clinical moves,” Gilman said last week.


There are still a few patients and staff occupying the State Street hospital, but after Jan. 4, the building, which Mercy is leasing from its new owners, will cease to operate as a health care center, Gilman said. The emergency department at Mercy Hospital on State Street will officially close on Jan. 4. A new emergency department at the Fore River Parkway hospital will open for patients at 4 a.m. on Jan. 4, Gilman said.

Meanwhile, a Portland-based auctioneer has been retained to sell off hundreds of Mercy Hospital’s building assets next month. Items expected to be auctioned off will range from food service and facilities maintenance equipment to power generators and interior building fixtures. All of the items sold at the auction will be non-medical in nature.

A new emergency department will open at the hospital on Fore River Parkway at 4 a.m. on Jan. 4. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

“It’s going to be a daunting task. There are six floors of stuff and a lot of equipment,” said Steve Keenan, owner of the Keenan Auction Company. “And they are bringing very few items with them to Fore River.”

The public will be invited to submit bids during the timed, online auction that is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Jan. 23. All items will be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price. The auction will close on Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. To view some of the items that will be put up for sale, go to

Phase 1 of the Mercy Fore River campus opened in 2008 with a medical office building and a new hospital featuring inpatient and outpatient surgical services, diagnostic imaging, laboratory and The Birthplace. The newly expanded campus will feature an emergency department and patient care units with private rooms. There also will be an outpatient specialty and surgery center located next to the hospital where Mercy’s gastroenterology and wound care practices will be located.

Mercy’s new hospital is on a 42-acre site overlooking the Fore River in Portland. The new hospital will offer 77 beds, including six for patient observation, Gilman said.

Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced in February 2020 that a team of local developers has been selected to convert the State Street hospital building in Portland’s West End neighborhood into a range of housing for all income levels. The local development partnership, NewHeight Redfern, purchased the hospital and its 3.5-acre lot. NewHeight Redfern has been leasing building space back to Northern Light and will take control of the property once Mercy Hospital has moved out.

During its early years of operation, Queen’s Hospital operated out of several buildings in Portland before eventually moving into the Mercy hospital building on State Street in 1941. The State Street building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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