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Photos: St. Joseph's Hospital before opening day, 1961

Photos: St. Joseph's Hospital before opening day, 1961

St. Joseph's Hospital, 350 N. Wilmot Road, Tucson, was dedicated on May 1, 1961, 81 years to the day that the first patient was admitted to the sister hospital, St. Mary's, on the westside of Tucson.

The $3 million facility was funded in part 8,000 Tucsonans who contributed to a Joint Hospital Drive in 1957. 

It was designed for 125 beds, then was upgraded to 130 beds by reducing the number of private rooms. But it opened with only 12 beds due to lack of staff.

The building featured a new fire safety design that divides each of the floors into three fire-safe areas, bounded by fire-proof doors and walls that can withstand fire for two hours.

The seven sisters of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet were in attendance for the dedication.

Photo editor

Rick Wiley is the photo editor of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. From 1995-2004, he was director of photography at the East Valley Tribune in Mesa. From 1988-94 he was a photographer at the Tucson Citizen. He is a graduate of ASU (yes, that ASU).

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