Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Old Postcard Wednesday--Christian Science Sanatorium - Arden Wood, San Francisco, Calif.

san·a·to·ri·um (source: Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary)
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ri·ums or -ria
1 : an establishment that provides therapy combined with a regimen (as of diet and exercise) for treatment or rehabilitation
2 a : an institution for rest and recuperation (as of convalescents) b : an establishment for the treatment of the chronically ill

sanatorium (source: Online Medical Dictionary)
An institution for the treatment of chronic disorders and a place for recuperation under medical supervision.
Origin: Mod. L. Neuter of sanatorius, curative, fr. Sano, to cure, heal

Arden Wood Residential and Nursing Home opened in May 1930. Information here shows three additional old postcards of the Christian Science Sanatorium, describing them as dating to 1930 (I have at least one of these other three in my grandmother's collection and have written before that she was a Christian Scientist). The website linked above is a feature about San Francisco's Western Neighborhoods Project and describes the one where this picture was taken as the West Portal Neighborhood. Additionally, it mentions that the building was recently renovated but does not give a date (it appears the website was launched in 2003 and has been updated recently, leading me to believe the renovation must have taken place sometime after 2003).

"The First Church of Christ, Scientist" selected the plot of land in the newly-developed West Portal neighborhood for its west coast nursing facility in the 1920s. On a beautifully landscaped twelve acres the home provides residential living, nursing training, and nursing care under Christian Science standards (no medicine, no physical therapy, faith in God to heal).
The chalet-like main building has been recognized as an architectural landmark by the City of San Francisco and has been recently renovated and refurbished by Arden Wood Inc.

Arden Wood, as it is now known, "first opened its doors in 1930 as a healing sanatorium for patients needing Christian Science nursing care and for nurses training. Today, Christian Science nursing remains at the core of Arden Wood’s purpose." You can visit Arden Wood's website, with descriptions of its mission and services, here. There is a section at the website containing Accounts of Healing, of sorts. I am neutral concerning this issue and feel it important to note that not everyone seeking healing at the sanatorium has indeed been healed (see "Last Years" at the end of the article about Butler Sturtevant).

I find this postcard shot, Garden and Forest, very beautiful and wonder if the area remains undeveloped today on the grounds of Arden Wood.



Joseph Hadley, General Manager of Madrona Manor, wrote the kindest email to me in response to my filling out an online form at their website notifying them of the post with old picture of Madrona Manor. In part, he wrote:

In the limited research we have been able to accomplish, really all we learned was that it was owned by a succession of private parties using it primarily as a summer home. I had heard a rumor that there was a commercial venture of some kind, although until hearing from you, we did not have a name with which to begin. We felt that there had to have been a commercial entity of some kind prior to the conversion to an inn and restaurant in 1980, which would explain the addition of a commercial kitchen prior to the 1960’s.
Perhaps I can find something at the county property records department under Grandview Community Inc.
I want to publicly thank you, Mr. Hadley, for your communication. I am positive that I'm not alone in hoping to someday enjoy a stay at the fabulous Madrona Manor! Please let us all know if you find additional information about Grandview Community Inc.



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

The view on this postcard reminds me of Hawkstone Follies in England:

The nearby Hawkstone Hall, co-incidentally, is now owned by a religious order and closed to all but church goers during some months...

It's very beautiful to walk round, but quite hard-going. There's a warning at the carpark that if you find the going to the cafe hard you should go no further!

Sadly Hawkstone is about 2 hours drive from my home, so i haven't been there in years

a little bird said...

I think if I were living back in the 30's I would be sent to a sanitorium. What is the equivalent today? Rehab? Hm... interesting post, as always.

Lydia said...

Wow, thank you for the link to Hawkstone Follies. I spent quite a bit of time looking it over and think it looks beautiful. I couldn't figure out the word "Follies" used here, but guess it refers to "an extravagant building." When I lived in Reno, Nevada, there was a Folies Bergere show that was all showgirls and I guess it's still done in Vegas.

Little Bird,
Yeah, I'd be sent to one to back then too. Better than an insane asylum!
Rehab....reminds me of Amy Winehouse's song. I posted a mash-up of it on my blog when Levi Stubbs died:

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Hi Lydia - i could be wrong but here in the uk i think Folly or Follies tends to refer to an extravagent building or park that really serves no other purpose than to a) show off how rich the builder was and b) to be enjoyed - hence being referred to as a "folly" or misguided endeavour.

Many of them reflect the Victorian passions for excercise and outdoors

dmarks said...

I have a lot of sanitarium and sanatorium postcards, but had not heard of this place.

Generally, the old usage seems to be sanatorium as a place that TB patients were confined to, and sanitarium as something that varied between a private medical hospital and health club.

The most famous one was the Kellogg Sanitarium, home of many dubious cures. One of these was the eating of corn flakes. The corn flake operation at the sanitarium eventually took over and everything else faded away.

I have a new postcard entry in my blog. I love doing research on these, and am glad you appear to also.

Lydia said...

Thanks for commenting again at my blog. I'm amazed at the Kellogg Sanitarium info.

I'd forgotten this until reading your comments: There was a TB sanatorium in the Sierras that my folks would point out when we drove between Reno and northern California when I was a kid. Decades earlier my step-father's mother had headed west on a train to serve as a nurse there, when the train was stopped in Reno because medical people were needed. It was the Depression and those marathon dances were going on where people hoped to earn money, and the contestants were dropping like flies there in Reno. She got off expecting to leave in a few days, and never left! Maybe you have one from that sanatorium (I cannot remember the name),
I enjoyed your latest postcard earlier today.

Lydia said...

Ah, folly in that sense makes sense! Except I don't consider exercise a folly in any regards....... :)

Lydia said...

Wayfaring Wanderer,
Call me crazy, but I would swear that I read a comment from you in my Inbox, along with these others that got published. I don't know what happened to yours! You said the shot looked antique-y and I agree.

Femin said...

Happy Easter for u



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