Whittaker Memorial Hospital closed 1985, ending forty years of medical service to the African American community in Newport News Virginia. Below is an excerpt from National Historical Places Registration Form:
“Whittaker Memorial Hospital is a significant resource in the city of Newport News. The hospital is the manifestation of the vision of two African American physicians to provide quality medical care to the growing African American population of the city. The facility was conceived and survived during an era of segregation and isolation for both African American patients and physicians. Prior to the founding of Whittaker Memorial Hospital in 1908, the only medical care available to African American citizens in Newport News was a clinic housed in the city jail. The hospital has been housed in three buildings over the course of its history – a rented house, a frame hospital built in 1915, and the current building constructed in 1943. Whittaker Memorial Hospital served the African American community in Newport News until it closed in 1985. The 1943 Whittaker Memorial Hospital building represents the work of prominent African American architects, William Henry Moses, Jr. and Charles Thaddeus Russell, and Benson Leroy Dutton, an African American engineer. It is possibly one of a few African American hospitals in the United States that was built by African American physicians and designed by African American architects. The property’s period of significance began with the construction of the current hospital building in 1943 and continued through the early years of the Civil Rights Movement until 1959.”, National Historical Places Registration Form.
- Architect: William Henry Moses, Benson L. Dutton, Charles Thaddeus Russell
- Built: 1943
- Address: 1003 28th Street, Newport News, VA
- Total Area: 64,545 SF
- GeoLocation: 36.988080, -76.411581
- Historical As-Built Survey: 2007, AEC Communications, Inc.
- External Links: Wikipedia Whittaker Veterans Heritage
My involvement in the project was to survey the structure and produce a set of AutoCAD drawings. There were several challenges to this project: the building has no power, I could not verify the presences of hazardous materials, many of the spaces were in significant disrepair. As a result, the entire interior survey was conducted in a hazmat suit and using portable lighting powered by a generator.
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