All but the young will recognize this as the former St Margaret’s Hospital, which was turned to face Ripley Street in 1980, a decade before its demise. Today, thanks to the RSA, the property is the home of the State’s Departments of Corrections, Public Safety, and Pardons and Paroles. This 6 story, 486,000 square feet building was remodeled in 2002. The view is a sad one for those of us that trod those halls as patients, parents, nurses, workers, students and volunteers (and architects). All my children were born there.
For 75 years St Margaret’s was the premier hospital of Montgomery, expertly run by the Daughters of Charity of Indianapolis. In 1980, the Sisters expended $25 million to save their hospital, but alas, location and charity overload doomed their effort. Around 1990 the Sisters sold the property for a pittance, deposited their beloved statue of Saint Margaret by an inconspicuous entrance to Oakwood Cemetery Annex, and left Montgomery forever.
There are many more stories (too much for one post) on St. Margaret’s Hospital. Below are some of those stories from Charles Humphries’ book titled The Peril & Intrigue Within Architecture.
- Greatness and Decline
- The Challenge
- Architect Selection
- A Harsh Contract
- The Design Build Part
- The Trips
- McBro And The Packages
- The Last Gasp
Black & white photos courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History.