- History of our building
In 1908, Isla Smith, of Pensacola, Florida, asked the Daughters of Charity, an order of Catholic sisters from Emmitsburg, Maryland, to build
a hospital in Pensacola. They invited the architect A. O. Von Herbulis, a native of Austria who lived in Falls Church, Virginia, to design the
Gothic Revival facility. They awarded Evans Brothers Construction of Birmingham, Alabama, the contract to build the facility in 1914. Pensacola
Hospital opened in September of 1915 as the first Catholic hospital in Florida.
This former hospital is a medical landmark. Prior to 1915, Pensacola had only a scattering of local clinics in converted houses. Doctors would
send patients with serious cases as far away as New Orleans. With this facility, Pensacola had the first surgical, radiological, bacterial, and
therapeutical facilities in Florida. According to reports of the time, the Daughters of Charity had a motto of "service to all." They dedicated
one floor of the east wing to the Creole and Colored population so that all people could receive hospital care.
This former hospital is an architectural landmark. Structurally, the building has received very few alterations. The striking exterior stonework
retains its Gothic appearance to this day. Other original architectural details, such as the elaborate oak entrance doors and terrazzo floors,
provide a snapshot of early 20th century construction. The Tudor arches throughout the building, the front entrance, and the embattlement on
the parapet are just a few of the other distinctive features of the building.
In 1948, following the original desire of Mother Margaret O’Keefe, the Daughters of Charity changed Pensacola Hospital’s name to Sacred Heart
Hospital of Pensacola. In 1965, the hospital moved to a new facility at 5151 North Ninth Avenue. The Pensacola Private School of Liberal Arts
used the building from 1969 through 1978. In 1980, Tower East Group, Inc., purchased the property to preserve the historic hospital for the
Tower East Group, Inc., a private enterprise, has been restoring and renovating this landmark since 1980. It succeeded in listing the site
on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The owners, their families, and their friends, have dedicated years of labor to return
this local landmark to the people of Pensacola as a place to dine, learn, shop, and work.
The enduring presence of the original Sacred Heart Hospital honors the many people of Pensacola who have served here. The current tenants
include restaurants, private schools, a local theater company, and many other services and private offices. Visitors of the various tenants
in the building often enjoy walking in the original front entrance. Some visitors even sign the guest register in the front office and let
the owners know how they feel about the ongoing historic preservation of the building. Thank you for supporting our living history.
The Vineyard opened on May 5, 2016 and is owned and operated by Glen Hill, Paul Kilmartin and Pam Kilmartin.