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The San José Clinic is one of the symbolic buildings on the beach. Many know it as the San José Clinic. It was at the end of the 19th century, in 1891, when Dr. Don Bartolomé Apolinario Macias, in connection with the construction of the new port of Puerto de la Luz, understood the need for help for workers who had neither a school nor the slightest sanitary care. He chose the fulfillment of their needs as the primary goal of his activity, by creating an educational center which would later expand his activities to charity.

Casa Asilo Hospital San José Las Palmas
Project for the construction of a hospital from 1895.

In order to obtain sufficient resources, he presented his ideas to Don Juan Formano, a partner in the Puerto del Refugio auction building, and two days later he also received support from representatives of Miller y Compañía, Grand Canary Ltda and Blanda Brothers y Cía. Thanks to these funds, it received initial funding for its project and Casa Asilo de San José could be established.

Casa Asilo Hospital San José Las Palmas
The hospital building shortly after its opening.

After solving the economic problem, it was the turn of the staff. He therefore addressed the mother introduced to the order of the Society of Daughters of Christian Love, St. Vincent de Paul, who was the only women’s order in Las Palmas at the time. The foundation managed to obtain a loan of one house in the newly emerging port. On March 1, 1891, a new school for port workers opened its gates.

Casa Asilo Hospital San José Las Palmas
Reconstruction project in 1925.

After the success of the school, he was increasingly convinced of the correctness of his plans. Apolinario kept talking about the need for a hospital in Puerto de la Luz to meet the needs of workers and their children. It was necessary to treat primarily diseases of the musculoskeletal system and tuberculosis. Excellent conditions for the treatment of these diseases were on the beach in Las Canteras. He did not hesitate and chose his own place for this purpose.

Casa Asilo Hospital San José Las Palmas
Not the best condition of the building in 2015.

The hospital project itself also addressed the former bishop of the province of Las Palmas, who became the patron of the project. The project of the new building was prepared by the diocesan architect Don Laureano Arroyo, who served the project free of charge until his death. The foundation stone was laid on August 10, 1895.

Casa Asilo Hospital San José Las Palmas
Reconstruction of the building.

Casa Asilum activities in a new building on Las Canteras Beach began in November 1900. However, as early as 1903, due to the smallpox epidemic, it was decided that it was impossible to maintain the same building and the same staff for medical and educational services at the same time. Casa Asilum remained a medical activity and the educational role was taken over by the Franciscan Council, which was located next to the building.

Casa Asilo Hospital San José Las Palmas
Hospital San José building after reconstruction (2020).

Such were the beginnings of one of the remarkable buildings right on Las Canteras beach. The building itself underwent several reconstructions and administrators during its duration, but it more or less still served its purpose. In recent decades, however, the lack of funds has caused the building to fall into disrepair. In 2019, the building was acquired by the private Hospital San José, which repaired the building and today houses one of the top private clinics in Las Palmas.

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Martin Smolen

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