Van Buren Hospital

Photo Courtesy of Statesboro Herald

Simeon Ike

It might not seem like it, but the old, structurally unstable white house on 38 Elm Street in downtown Statesboro was once Van Buren Hospital.

According to the Statesboro Herald, Statesboro’s first black physician, Dr. Van Buren, opened the hospital in 1918 as a way to serve the entire community during the flu epidemic of World War 1.

Candra E.Teshome, department clerk for Statesboro’s Planning and Development Department, recently became interested in the history of the building after it was identified as a dilapidated structure in need of improvement.

Eric Short, a Code Compliance Officer, initially came across the building, and informed Teshome that, in his opinion, preservation would be better than destroying the building.

Teshome and Short were not the only people who had interest in the building. The building’s owner, Glennera Martin and Design 5 Studio Professor Amy Boyett also showed interest. Boyett and her class recently took measurements of the site.

The Van Buren Hospital has a chance to be listed under the National Registry of Historic places along with several historic structures on the surrounding streets. Due to its structure the building could not make it into the registry alone.

Owner Martin would like to keep the house as private property, but she would also like it renovated and repaired.