WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE THIRD WARD’S RIVERSIDE GENERAL HOSPITAL CAMPUS? The 3-acre Riverside General Hospital campus is home to 3 buildings: Houston’s first hospital for black patients fronting Elgin (pictured above) and a former nurses’ quarters along Holman (both opened in 1926 as the Houston Negro Hospital), as well as a newer 1961 hospital building. The entire facility closed in 2015 after its former CEO Earnest Gibson III was convicted of Medicare fraud. Earlier this week, the Harris County Commissioners Court voted to buy all 3 buildings. If they don’t become a part of the new mental health facility the county plans to open on the site, what purpose might the 2 older buildings serve? The neighborhood may get a chance to review smaller-scale proposals for those historic structures: a job training center, small business incubation facility, maker space, cultural museum, library, youth hostel, swing dance club, chess club, or dominoes club. UH architecture professor Alan Bruton tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen that the Emancipation Economic Development Council — a Third Ward nonprofit — invited him to collect residents’ ideas for the space. His students next fall will create designs for some of those concepts; the Council may use them to raise money and rally support for the proposals. [Houston Public Media; audio] Photo of former Houston Negro Hospital building at 3204 Ennis St.: Ed Uthman [license]
This will be a fun project for the Arch students! Those are attractive buildings.
To me they symbolize segregation and like the Confederate Monuments they should be packed up and put in a warehouse. Let’s not be hypocrites here. We must purge the nation of any history deemed offensive in any way. Next let’s pack up the Spanish Missions in San Antonio and store them in a warehouse while we decide just how to display them in the least “offensive” way possible. We shouldn’t ever have to gaze upon anything anyone could ever find offensive. Monticello anyone? We need help taking it off the hill.
Attractive? Hardly! The old nurses quarters may be interesting but is rather small and, and I predict it will be difficult to find a use for it other than a neighborhood “club house” after extensive and expensive renovations … besides there is a brand new, multi-million dollar “club house” (Emancipation Park Community Center) just a few blocks down the street. The old main building reminds me of a whitewashed cardboard box used to store things , but that is expected given it’s original purpose … at least it is of good size and has been kept in better condition and perhaps should be saved (not so the nurses quarters). The big question will be the cost as we all know the city has unlimited funds (joke). I predict it will be allowed to decay, much like the old Jeff Davis Hospital, into an attractive ruin until the neighborhood gentrifies.
This should be a mueseum…Some people always talk about keeping the history of a community is important, during gentrification. I don’t have an issue with gentrification if it’s going to make the community better. I actually embrace it. Get rid of all the negative things, but these type things people should fight for. Make this a museum. Period!
This entire site holds a special place in this white guy’s heart. Fifteen years ago (despite the Medicare fraud), Riverside was THE ONLY place willing accept me, all opiate addicted, homeless and flat broke into a detox program OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN until I finally got it. I remember telling one of the nurses checking my vital signs one night that she had saved my life five times in a row. Each visit there revealed to me more of the history of black people here in Houston that is so different from anything I learned in school. That Riverside campus is beautiful and historic. It deserves a certain level of respect.
I have a dearest friend that was born there, another that got stitches there , when there was no other black hospital to go to. I am a white rural republican female who really doesn’t understand why there is no practical use for this historical facility. I can’t believe the sorry suggestions that people give. This hospital has served the community for the last eighty years. Why not replace it with the some type of comminunity service or a black community service that is needed desperately in this district whether it be health related or facility for elderly, or handicapped, or young people related which is absolutely desperately needed as I can vouge for. One summer during vacation from school I was assaulted by youths and truly could have been killed. With no response immediately from the H.P.D. MANY CALLS GO UNNOTICED AND LEAD TO FURTHER CRIMES. POSSIBLY SOME TYPE OF JUVEVENILE FACILITY OR MENTOR RELATED CENTER WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY PRODUCTIVE AND SOOOOOOO MUCH APPRECiated IN THE SAviNG OF LIVES FROM BOTh SIDES.