The Spirella Company manufactured corsets at the corner of Main Street and Bellevue Avenue in Niagara Falls, New York. It was later reused as a nursing home until relocating in 2003.

Spirella Company

History

The Spirella Company, founded in 1904 3 by Marcus Meritt Beeman, William Wallace Kincaid and Jesse Horman Pardee in Meadville, Pennsylvania, manufactured corsets. 2 Based on a patent of dressbone 4 for bustles, the company produced made-to-measure corsets. The name “Spirella” was in reference to the Spirella Stay, invented by Beeman from tightly twisted and flattened coils of wire.

In 1912, Spirella constructed a reinforced concrete and steel framed factory at Main Street and Belleveue Avenue. By the mid-20th century, women began to discontinue the use of restricting corsets. In 1958, Spirella consolidated its dwindling operations to a facility on Lewis Avenue in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Spirella Company

Nursing Home

In 1964, 6 the former Spirella factory was renovated into a 130-bed nursing home by DeVeaux. 5 Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, owned by the Sisters of St. Francis of Williamsville, 6 acquired DeVeaux’s facility in 1989 and changed the name to Mount St. Mary’s Nursing Home. 5

The Catholic Health System proposed merging Mount St. Mary’s nursing home and the 120-bed St. Mary’s Manor nursing facility, and asked Mount St. Mary’s Hospital to include its nursing home in the project. 5 Tentative plans, released in August 1997, 7 showed a 144-bed, $15 million nursing home on Mount St. Mary’s Hospital’s campus in Lewiston. The proposal was placed on hold when the sponsorship of the hospital changed. It was further delayed when Mount St. Mary’s and Niagara Falls Memorial Center considered a merger scheme in 1998.

Plans for a new nursing home on Mount St. Mary’s hospital campus was resurrected on July 6, 2000. 6 As 90 percent of the residents in the new facility would be Medicaid patients, the federal government would reimburse St. Mary’s over 30 years for $25 million of the construction costs. State approval for a new nursing home to replace both Mount St. Mary’s and St. Mary’s Manor came in December. 5

Construction of a new 250-bed facility began in September 2001 and opened as Our Lady of Peace in 2003 at a cost of $39 million. 5 The Mount St. Mary’s Nursing Home in Niagara Falls closed immediately after.

Sources