Building a Medical Center:

The Construction of the 1955 Medical College Hospital

Securing Land

The next hurdle in implementing Dr. Lynch's grand expansion program was the acquisition of land on which to build the hospital. Charleston County was authorized by an act passed by the 1948 session of the South Carolina General Assembly to acquire land for the hospital site. The act was entitled:

“An Act to Provide for the Acquisition of Land by Charleston County for Use by the Medical College of South Carolina as a Site for a Teaching Hospital, to Provide for the Issuance of Bonds by Charleston County to Defray the Cost of Said Acquisition, to Provide for the Payment of Said Bonds, and to Authorize the Acquisition of Said Land by Eminent Domain.”

The site selected for the hospital was a two-block area encompassed by Doughty Street on the North, Ashley Avenue on the East, Mill Street on the South, and Lucas Street on the West. Charleston County provided $450,000 for purchasing the hospital site while City Council donated land. Within this two-block area stood fifty-two private properties, with houses occupied predominantly by African-Americans, as well as a church and a cemetery. Over a three-year period the Medical College purchased these properties or acquired them through the right of eminent domain.