Woodlawn Infirmary

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Woodlawn Infirmary in 1938

The Woodlawn Infirmary was a 3-story brick hospital building at 5405 3rd Avenue South (now 5th Avenue South), between 54th and 55th Streets in Woodlawn.

In 1921 the Hospital Realty Corporation of Woodlawn sold stock in order to operate a private 75-bed private hospital in the area. It opened on March 16, 1922 with Dr J. H. Stephens as owner and superintending physician. The facility treated patients who paid a monthly subscription.

A sensational murder occurred at the hospital in December 1929 when club owner W. Ross Keith, who had stabbed and shot at his wife, Betty, the night before, came into her room and, following an argument, fired three bullets into her chest and then shot himself in the arm. After 1931 it was officially called the Woodlawn Hospital, though it remained known to most as the Woodlawn Infirmary.

Woodlawn Hospital closed by the 1940s, and the structure reopened by the end of World War II as the Woodlawn Highland Apartments.

By 2000, the apartments were no longer actively managed and vacant, boarded-up units were being used by squatters. On Saturday, June 22, 2002, a two-alarm fire broke out in the structure resulting in severe damage. It took about 60 firefighters to control the blaze.

Although it was listed by the Jefferson County Historical Commission, the Birmingham City Council decided to accept bids for its demolition in December. The structure was finally demolished in summer 2003. In November 2005, a private developer bought the site and subdivided it for a 12-home development called Crest Parc.

References

  • Jones, Melanie. (November 13, 2002). "Old burned infirmary has hazy future." The Birmingham News
  • Jones, Melanie. (December 18, 2002). "Woodlawn Infirmary on demolition list." The Birmingham News
  • Ford, Gene A. & Thomas M. Shelby (September 2005) "An Architectural and Historical Survey of the Woodlawn Highlands Historic District, Birmingham, Alabama" University of Alabama Museums. Office of Archaeological Research
  • Wolfson, Hannah. (November 2, 2005). "City approves new homes at infirmary site." The Birmingham News