Reader David Blackstock asks of our Austin Answered project: “What was the location of the old St. David’s Hospital?” He was born there in 1930.
Wow, do we have an interactive map for you! Created for the closing of University Medical Center at Brackenridge and the opening of the Dell Seton Medical Center earlier this year, this digital product traces the locations of 21 Central Austin hospitals. You can find it at the Austin Found blog online.
The timeline starts with the Austin State Hospital, originally called the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, which opened in 1861 and still stands on Guadalupe Street.
As for St. David’s, its immediate predecessor was the Austin Sanitarium, also known briefly as the Presbyterian Sanitarium. This handsome building with wide, sleeping porches stood just north of the state Capitol. Opened in 1895, it burned in 1918.
That’s when its doctors moved to a Victorian home on Judge’s Hill at Rio Grande and West 17th streets. It was known for a while as Physicians & Surgeons Hospital and was rechartered as St. David’s Hospital in 1924. When a new hospital was built next door, this Victorian building — which no longer stands — became the nurses’ residence.
A narrow, elegant structure on West 17th Street was the home of St. David’s from 1928 to 1955. It’s now an apartment building, but you can spy some of the old Gothic decoration behind a metal façade screen.
The modern St. David’s Medical Center opened on East 32nd Street northeast of the University of Texas campus in 1955. Like the Brack and Seton medical centers, it grew in multiple directions. Also like the Seton family and medical newcomers, St. David’s opened facilities in other parts of the Austin area and, in 2011, it absorbed the Heart Hospital at West 38th Street and North Lamar Boulevard.
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