This week, Laura and Joelle are joined by local Andersonville residents Todd Ganz and Stephani Young, creators of the new podcast, If the Walls Could Talk, centered around the often mysterious history of local Edgewater Hospital, opened in 1929, and whose campus was formerly located at 5700 N Ashland. Known for famous births like that of Hillary Clinton the Edgewater Hospital and Medical Center closed abruptly in 2001 and had been decaying for decades before recent redevelopment into multi-unit apartments. For true crime fans, history buffs, curious locals and beyond, If the Walls Could Talk dives into the fraught history of this iconic institution, the people who ran it well and the people who ran it into the ground. The podcast debuted on Sunday, January 10 and the first three episodes are streaming now.
“We realized this story was so much greater than just some set of abandoned buildings at the end of our street. It was personal. It was a lot of people’s first jobs, it was where they were a doctor, or where they were born, or where their mom or dad worked, or where they worked, and it really struck us.” – Todd Ganz
Listen to Episode 126 with Todd Ganz & Stephani Young
Top podcast highlights, and where to find them (by timestamp):
1:53 – Todd and Stephani begin to talk about their backgrounds and how they got started in the industry.
3:52 – Tune in to hear about how their podcast, If the Walls Could Talk, came about. Todd: “Ya know, I can’t believe with all the documentaries out there that I’ve seen, good and bad, that no one’s done a story about this place.” Their decision was obvious.
6:42 – We talk about Todd and Stephani’s process involving how they conduct interviews and how they’ve adjusted their work with COVID-19. Stephani: “The extra time has actually been on our side with this project.”
9:11 – Todd and Stephani describe their process of tracking previous employees down to put their interviews together. Social media was a big influence!
11:15 – We mention how they have received some good press since the podcast launched and ask what the response has been like. Todd: “We’ve been pretty impressed.” They assumed they would get some attention from people in the local area, but it has become publicized and talked about more than they had anticipated. Read their feature by Block Club Chicago here.
12:31 – We learn more about their Patreon, one of the platforms the podcast is on, and the benefits to those that subscribe. They have a bonus episode that airs every Tuesday called Second Opinion for all of the super fans out there!
16:20 – Anderson Point is a multi-unit condo where the former Edgewater hospital is. Listen to Todd and Stephani’s impression of the “new life” of the location.
18:49 – Hear about how you can take part in their final episode Q&A.
20:18 – They anticipate more people continually coming out to share their story/history with the hospital.
21:41 – Engage in a discussion about Buckletown Productions, run by Todd and Stephani, and the history and future goals of their company. They are possibly seeing more podcasts in the future and maybe a true crime master class!
24:15 – Hear why you should listen to an episode of If the Walls Could Talk from the hosts.
25:57 – Tune in here for Rapid Fire Questions! Questions include the following – Most surprising fact you learned about Edgewater/Andersonville while researching for this project? Most surprising fact you’ve learned about each other while working on this project? What podcasts inspired you for this project? What are some other favorite podcasts in either of your library’s. Advice for future podcasters? Favorite Andersonville businesses to frequent?
51:35 – If the Walls Could Talk is available on any podcast platform you listen to (Google, Spotify, Apple, etc) and on their website. A new episode comes out every Sunday!
“Honestly, the best part of this entire project is all the people we met doing it.” – Stephani Young
Follow If the Walls Could Talk on the following platforms: