Construction of the hospital began in 1893 and until it was finished, the sisters treated patients in a wooden structure on the site. The hospital was completed in 1894 and additions were added in 1917 and 1928. A nursing school was added to the facility in 1911.
The hospital operated without government funding, relying instead on donations. It was difficult for the Sisters to maintain the building and keep up with needed repairs and updates. In 1964, the Sisters made the decision to close the hospital and build a new facility. From 1964 until 2000, the building operated as an assisted living facility. Since it closed in 2000, the building has been vacant.
It's probably inevitable that an imposing former hospital that is vacant and in decline would spawn urban legends and stories of ghosts. In the years since St. Ignatius closed, it has gained a reputation as a center of paranormal activity. Ghost tours of the building are offered regularly and paranormal researchers have made numerous overnight trips there. At present, it seems that St. Ignatius may enjoy a second act as a macabre sort of tourist attraction.
There is talk of preserving the building, though its future is uncertain. In 2015, St. Ignatius was added to the Most Endangered Properties List by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.