Remembering Riverside Hospital

March 14, 2011 5 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Now the epicenter of Five Point's retransformation into a vibrant mixed-use community, the corner of Margaret and Riverside Avenue was known as Riverside Hospital for 85 years.

About Riverside Hospital

- Riverside was a 240,000-square-foot six story, 183-bed independent hospital with a staff of more than 400.

- Riverside was the first hospital in Florida to perform X-rays, electrocardiograms and blood chemistry test.

- Pat Boone, the popular singer, was born at Riverside and Frank Slaughter, one of the top-selling U.S. novelists of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, worked there as a surgeon.

Historic aerial view of Five Points.  Riverside Hospital's original three story building is located at the SW corner (left side of image) of Memorial Park.

Graduate nurses from Riverside Hospital in 1941.

Riverside Hospital Timeline

1911 - Physician Carey P. Rogers opens Riverside Hospital , then known as Rogers Hospital , on Riverside Avenue between Goodwin and Margaret streets.

1918 - Riverside Clinic opens as the first and only multi-purpose specialty medical clinic in Florida.

1956 - Riverside Hospital's School of Nursing closes.

1968 - Six-story patient tower completed.

1979 - Hospital razed the George Clark residence (designed by HJ Klutho in 1911) for an expansion project, angering community preservationists.

1982 - Original hospital structure razed to make way for ancillary wing.

1991 - Riverside Hospital is purchased by St. Vincent's Health System.

1995 - Baptist Health System and St. Vincent's Health System merge to become the area's largest health care provider.

1996 - To save on costs, Baptist/St. Vincent's Health System announces the closure of 85-year-old Riverside Hospital, making it the largest Jacksonville hospital to cease operation.

1996 - All Saints Nursing Home (located across the street from Riverside Hospital) is razed for future development.

1998 - Riverside Clinic, the last surviving limb of Riverside Hospital closes after 87 years of service.

1999 - The Villas of St. Johns, a 257-unit luxury apartment complex, is constructed on the former site of the All Saints Nursing Home.

2000 - St. Peterburg based Sembler Company works with neighborhood residents on the design of a commercial complex anchored by a 27,406-square foot Publix.

2001 - The 240,000-square-foot Riverside Hospital is demolished at the cost of $645,000 for the construction of a 42,448-square foot Publix anchored retail center.

2002 - Riverside Market Square opens at the corner of Riverside & Market Streets.

Source: "History of St.Vincent's Health System," published in Jacksonville Medicine, August 1994

Villas of St. Johns

Riverside Market Square

Historic photographs courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

Article by Ennis Davis