Monday, February 11, 2013




Old St. Luke's Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida







View from the front


I volunteered for the Arthritis Foundation back in 2007-2008. Lucky for me, at that time, their offices were based in the historic Old St. Luke’s Hospital on Palmetto Street in Jacksonville, Florida. The Old St. Luke’s Hospital was completed in 1878.  The large brick building housing the Florida Casket Company was added adjacently to the hospital in 1882.
One afternoon, I was allowed to roam freely throughout the hospital and photograph it. Even the attic!  The Old St. Luke’s Hospital served during many people during yellow fever outbreaks in its’ early days as well as a refuge for sick travelers and the poor. 



The Florida Casket Company was built in 1882





A supply cart of some sort, I offer the conjecture that it was made to carry a particular machine.


    



           The hospital is truly a historic treasure containing many medical artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I am not sure of the exact use for many of these pictured. The antique equipment is in  more knowledgeable care regarding their conservation than when these pictures were taken five years ago. If you know more about them, including their uses, please comment in the section below.








The box in the center contained unused medicine still intact in their original glass vials.



Supply Cabinets. On the right are smaller medical tools on display.



Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the exact use of many of these medical  devices.  We are just going to have to wait until the museum opens!


One of the few ornate and beautiful fire places.








The left picture is the view from the 1st floor and the right picture is the view from the 2nd floor.






All of the porches are inviting with cool breezes from the St. John's River.





         The Great Fire of 1901 burned most of Jacksonville’s downtown, and the hospital is one of the few surviving buildings from that era. Old St. Luke's Hospital needed some expensive restoration and it had been listed for sale back in 2008. Delightedly, I discovered that it was purchased by the Jacksonville Historical Society. They are in the process of setting up a Jacksonville History Museum in the future, although it won't be ready for some time. However, an archive housing Jacksonville's history in documents is currently available at the hospital. It is open Monday-Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. It is recommended to call ahead and let the archivist know you are coming in order to have your documents ready.
Here is the contact information: 


Jacksonville Historical Society Archives at Old St. Luke’s
                      314 Palmetto Street
                                 Jacksonville  32202

                                 
Phone: 904-374-0296




For more information, including a history of the hospital and to donate to the Jacksonville Historical Society towards the very expensive restoration, please visit:
http://www.jaxhistory.com/Old-St-Lukes.html and http://www.jaxhistory.com/Old-St-Lukes2.html.


I also recommend this 2011 article in the Metro Jacksonville by Ennis Davis. There are some wonderful pictures from the State Archives of Florida. You can also see more detailed pictures of the medical equipment. The devices are in better shape in this article from 2011 than my pictures from 2008. I look forward to seeing them on display one day!
 http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-oct-inside-old-st-lukes-hospital-and-a-casket-factory




Text and photos: Jennifer Knutson, FPAN intern



4 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Very interesting ! What a great opportunity to wander and photograph the old place. I'm glad to herar that it's survived and will be preserved and re-used for an appropriate purpose.

  2. Thank you for the nice comment. It was indeed a great opportunity. You're right-the best part is it will be there at least another 100 years!

  3. Anonymous says:

    the green machine I believe is a iron lung.

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