Holy Family Community Hospital

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Holy Family Community Hospital in December 1954
Hospital in May 2010

Holy Family Community Hospital was a full service hospital located at 1915 19th Street Ensley in Ensley. Originally developed by a group of nuns from Kentucky to serve inner-city African-Americans, the initial hospital consisting on 12 beds was completed in 1946. Known simply as Holy Family Hospital, expansions in both 1953 and 1964 resulted in raising its capacity to 83-beds with a staff of 130. The hospital was the center of the black health community as it was the only hospital where black doctors and nurses could practice in Jim Crow Birmingham.

By 1968, the Sisters of Charity would sell the hospital to a group of investors who would subsequently change its name to Community Hospital. By 1986 the facility would again be sold with its name changed to Medical Park West until its closing in 1988. The facility would briefly reopen in 1989 as Community Hospital with 22 beds only to close it down for good soon thereafter. Following its closure, the facility was used as the RETS Electronics Institute until 1993. Since that time proposals for its reuse have emerged including using the facility as a senior center and as a VA facility.

Presently vacant, in 2006 the Faith Chapel Christian Center purchased the property with the intention of renovating it into a community health facility and clinic. The building was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on January 24, 2008.


  • "A Spark-A Flame-A Beacon Light: The Holy Family Hospital, Ensley, Alabama" (January 1963) Journal of the National Medical Association. Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 86-92
  • Ruisi, Anne "Old hospital may fill role for Ensley's elder citizens". (August 16, 1993) The Birmingham News
  • Garrison, Greg "Church shares vision for historic hospital". (October 13, 2006) The Birmingham News