From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/28/1909, p. 10, c. 5
RENEW FIGHT ON SANATORIUM
Neighbors Still Object to Tuberculosis Hospital, Though Permitting Many Cases at Large.
Dr. W. W. Parker, proprietor of the Church Hill Sanatorium, was summoned to the Police Court yesterday morning on the charge of conducting a hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis on East Grace Street, between Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Streets, without the consent of the Board of Health. The case was continued to May 7 in order to hear from the health authorities.
The case presents some rather involved points, the Health Board being unanimously in favor of the maintenance of such an institution as Dr. Parker is conducting, regarding it as a great benefit to the community, rather than a menace, but the board has been perpetually beset by the protests of surrounding property owners and residents, who, without inquiry into the manner of the spread of tuberculosis, are convinced that it will be a menace to the neighborhood.
Early in 1904 certain parties proposed the erection of a cancer hospital on one of the principal streets, and to prevent this an ordinance was passed by the Council on March 18, 1904, requiring any person proposing to open a hospital for the treatment of cancer, tuberculosis or any contagious disease to secure the consent of the Board of Health. Dr. Parker, who has been a lifelong student of the treatment of tuberculosis, holds an old charter from the State Legislature for the establishment of a sanatorium, the exact value of which has not been determined.
Since the reorganization of the Health Department he applied for permission to open a sanatorium for the treatment of consumptives in a house at Twenty-third and Broad Streets, when there was a popular uprising of the neighborhood, and hundreds of protests were presented.
Finding unanimous disapproval of the neighbors, the Board of Health ruled that it was inexpedient at that time to allow Dr. Parker to open his sanatorium at that location, and that, in view of the protests, the board felt it had no right to grant the permit, stating positively that it did not constitute a menace to the health of the locality.
Some months ago Dr. Parker purchased the old Van Lew house, occupying an entire block on East Grace Street, and has had it refitted as a tuberculosis sanatorium, believing that his place stood in ample grounds and would not be objectionable to the neighbors. A few, however, have kept up the fight, and yesterday the proprietor found himself summoned to the Police Court on the charge of conducting a hospital without the consent of the Board of Health.
The institution is the only one in the city in which a consumptive person may find a refuge, such patients being barred from all the general hospitals, as well as from all hotels and boarding houses. Physicians of the neighborhood also say that Dr. Parker does a large amount of charity work and should be allowed to continue to operate an institution which has proven a credit to the city.