(HARTFORD, Conn.) – Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has begun laundry operations at a new, state-of-the-art facility in 22,000 square feet of leased space inside one of Hartford’s legendary buildings at 275 Homestead Avenue.

“We are pleased to have renovated this place, rich in history, just one block from our main campus. It accommodates both our current needs and anticipates potential future expansion of our laundry services,” said Christopher Dadlez, President and CEO of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

The facility is operational 6 days a week, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. 35 employees utilize new equipment including a tunnel wash system, four specialty washers, four large gas dryers, three small gas dryers and two gas-fired hot oil ironers with feed systems and sheet folders. There are also towel folders and uniform presses.

The cost of renovations and equipment purchases is more than $4,000,000.

“It’s exciting to be able to incorporate a 21st century major industrial laundry facility into a nearly 100-year-old structure without altering its façade,” added Dadlez.

In addition to the more than 6 million pounds of laundry Saint Francis produces annually, plus another 4 million for other area hospitals. The new facility also offers capacity that can be increased in the future should the demand materialize.

“We appreciate Saint Francis’ continued investment in our city. This is a great opportunity for both the City of Hartford and Saint Francis to move forward together in working to help stabilize our neighborhoods through future job growth,” said Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez.

When it was constructed in 1915, the building was occupied by the original Hartford Special Machine Company, the site’s first tenant. During its earliest years, the building bustled with machinists producing tools and performing government work during both world wars.

Since then, the building has undergone many transitions. In 1960, Hartford Special Machine Company moved to Simsbury and the building was sold to a group of investors. One year later, it became the new home, and still is today, for the Smith-Worthington Saddlery Company when the company was forced to move from its Sigourney Street location to pave the way for I-84.

Over the past 40 years, the building has been home to a variety of other tenants, including Service Press, Appel’s Printing & Mailing, City Glass Co, Callaghan Paper Box Co., Calbox and Puzzel Partners, Smith Fire Extinguisher Supply and Hartford Winnelson Plumbing Supply.

In 2006, Hartford Special Partners, LLC was formed and acquired the building.

The new site anticipates approval of a proposed new patient tower on Saint Francis’ main campus, which will require demolition of the Hospital’s current laundry operations.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets and is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.