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Sisters of Mercy Hospital

In the 1890s, the San Diego Sisters of Mercy founded St. Joseph's Hospital. A book about their leader called Memoirs of Mother Mary Michael Cummings, published around 1922, says her talent for building and renovating structures was highly respected. One of Mother Michael's human services projects was a three-story, clapboard building on University Avenue in Hillcrest, built in 1919 as an annex to St. Joseph's Hospital. It housed two naturally lit surgical units (by way of strategically placed skylights and north-facing windows); a lecture hall for student nurses; X-ray facilities, and resting quarters for the surgeons. Now this designated local landmark is vacant though it had been used commercially for many years.

Despite appearances, much of the original fabric remains or could be restored and the building is ripe for adaptive reuse. SOHO urges the city of San Diego to require the owner abide by the preservation ordinance instead of condoning a strategy of demolition by neglect.

Photo by Sandé Lollis

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2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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