History and the Hearne Surgical Hospital Building.

I often walk past the old Hearne Surgical Hospital Building in downtown San Diego. It stands near the corner of Fourth Avenue and Ash Street.

A plaque by the door indicates the building is Historical Site No. 115, and that it was designed by the Quayle Brothers and built in 1906.

But until a few minutes ago that’s all I knew.

With the help of Google, I found some fascinating history concerning the building!

Part of a book titled Hearne History describes Dr. Joseph Carter Hearne’s medical practice in San Diego. The following information is transcribed here.

The doctor located in San Diego, Cal., Dec., 1891, where he soon took his place at the head of the medical fraternity. Indeed it is not too much to say that he is well recognized as one of the leading, if not the leading, surgeon of Southern California. Soon after his arrival at San Diego he was appointed local surgeon to the Southern California railway

On March 8, 1906, the doctor completed and opened for the use of his own patients a Private Surgical Hospital, which in appointment and equipment is acknowledged to be equaled by none. Surgeons connected with the foreign battle ships visiting the harbor of San Diego are loud in its praise and say that there is no hospital abroad, public or private, that equals it. It has accommodations for twenty-five patients and is fully equipped.

So, apparently, the building you see in my photographs was, in its day, one of the most impressive hospitals to be found anywhere!

It is now an apartment building.

The Quayle Brothers architects, who designed the Hearne Surgical Hospital Building, were responsible for other important structures in San Diego, including the 1928 North Park Theatre and the 1939 San Diego Police Department Headquarters. They are probably best remembered as the designers of San Diego’s original City Stadium, which was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Standing beside San Diego High School, it was later renamed Balboa Stadium.

If you’d like to see photos of the very handsome Alfred Haines House in Golden Hill, which the Quayle Brothers also designed, check out a past blog post here!


I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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