Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Publix Replaced Razed Riverside Hospital

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Publix Replaced Razed Riverside Hospital

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland

Dear Call Box: Can you tell me whatever happened to Riverside Hospital. I remember taking my parents there years ago and was wondering whether they tore it down.

W.L.

Dear W.L.: You can shop for groceries on what was once the site of the sprawling 240,000-square-foot hospital and clinic at 2033 Riverside Ave. The hospital occupied a 2.9-acre site bounded by Riverside and Margaret, Oak and Goodwin streets. It closed in 1996 and was demolished in 2001.

Riverside Market Square, anchored by Publix Super Markets, occupies the spot where the hospital complex once stood. It also contains a variety of retail shops and restaurants such as Tijuana Flats, Starbucks, Papa John's Pizza, China Joy Restaurant, Sushi Cafe, Great Clips Hair Cut Salon and The UPS Store. Publix opened in 2002.

It's perhaps fitting that a grocery store is on the property considering that Riverside's cafeteria was noted for dishing up good food and even did a large neighborhood business. It was a popular spot for diners after church on Sundays with some coming for years. Morrison's Food Service managed the hospital's dietary department.

Riverside Hospital originally was a three-story brick building known as Rogers Hospital when it opened in 1911, according to the Times-Union. A six-story patient tower was added in 1968, and the original building was razed in 1982 to make way for a new wing.

The 183-bed hospital was purchased in 1991 by St. Vincent's Health System, which formed a partnership with Baptist Medical Center in 1995. Officials decided to shutter the facility in the wake of the merger, which was later dissolved. A community fixture in its heyday, Riverside was suffering from a dwindling patient load, the Times-Union reported.

Dear Call Box: Is it safe to talk on a cellphone during a thunderstorm, or do I need to immediately hang up?

D.C.

Dear D.C.: You don't have to have sunny skies to safely use your cellphone indoors, according to JEA. You can talk away during lightning storms as long as your cellphone isn't plugged in and charging, said Gerri Boyce, JEA spokeswoman. You also can safely talk on a cordless phone. …

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