ELYSIAN PARK (CBSLA.com) —  The Chris Brownlie Hospice, once used as the city’s first hospice for AIDS patients, was turned back over to the city Saturday.

A memorial celebration was held to honor the facility for the service it provided from 1988 to 1996 as a nursing home for people dying from diseases caused by the HIV virus.

READ MORE: Golden Globes Nominations Announcement Set For Dec. 13

The building had a long history of helping the sick. The hospice once housed the nurses dormitory for the city’s Barlow Respiratory Hospital, a tuberculosis sanitarium.

AIDS patients have benefited from recent advances in drug therapies that have ended the one-time death sentence for the HIV virus.

READ MORE: Parolee Aariel Maynor Arrested In Connection With Jacqueline Avant Killing After Shooting Himself In The Foot

Since 1996, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has used the hospice for offices.

At today’s service, the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus was expected to perform in memory of the hundreds who died there, including 140 chorus members.

Seven balloons — one for each year the hospice was in business — were also to be released at sunset.

MORE NEWS: COVID Omicron Variant Detected In Vaccinated Minnesotan Who Traveled To NYC Anime Convention

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)