An Update on the New St. Luke’s Hospital Campus Construction Project


If you’ve traveled along Cesar Chavez near the intersection of San Jose Avenue recently, you might’ve noticed that the new California Pacific Medical Center St. Luke’s hospital building is beginning to look much less skeletal, and much more building-like.

This project has been in the works for a long time, and now Mirabel Avenue neighbor Dean Fryer — who by day works as a media relations manager for CPMC — brings us a progress report:

I’m writing to let you know about the amazing progress being made on the new replacement hospital at the Sutter Health—CPMC St. Luke’s Campus, our neighborhood hospital. Things are moving along quickly. The steel structure is done and the exterior wall panels are nearly all in place, resulting in a great new look for the campus and neighborhood.

As you’re likely aware, St. Luke’s has a long history in our neighborhood. Originally it was located on Lundy’s Lane, in 1871, before moving to the current location in 1875. The location was perfect for a hospital — near the end of the cable car line on Valencia Street and near the rout of the original Southern Pacific main train line coming up from the peninsula. We’are excited to continue serving our neighborhood, and the city, with the new hospital (scheduled to open in 2019).

You can already see the space around the new hospital take shape. Visible are the outline of the entry areas where families will come and go, and the framing of the stairs that lead to the plaza which symbolizes the historic pathway traveled between the peninsula and the city. The plaza will be open and well lit to provide neighbors a safe environment, day or night, while crossing the campus.

The new seven-story, 120 patent bed hospital, is designed to blend nicely into the neighborhood with color and aesthetic. Depending on the direction you approach the hospital, it will have a different look and feel. From the east there is the greenery of the plaza and from the west the low rise section of the building next to the neighbors. There is also the intentional use of different materials on the exterior to create an illusion of diminished building height.

We’re also proud of all the local hiring that has happened at this construction site and our other hospital construction project at Van Ness and Geary. At the St. Luke’s campus we are excited that 33 percent of the workforce consists of San Francisco residents, with 13 of the workers born at the current St. Luke’s campus hospital. An additional 6 workers also live in Bernal Heights.

The views of Bernal Hill from the hospital are spectacular as well. Here’s how it looks (click to enlarge):


I’ll keep you updated on the construction progress, but Bernal neighbors can always check for more details and to access the construction cameras.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of CPMC

17 thoughts on “An Update on the New St. Luke’s Hospital Campus Construction Project

    • Hi Rusty, The misalignment of panels is intentional. While there will be some adjustments to the panels, they are intentionally installed this way in an effort to reduce the perceived size and feel of the buildings mass.

  1. Thanks for the update, Dean. I assume they will then tear down the old hospital. Is that right? And does that space then become a parking lot? Some other structure?

    • Mark, you are correct. The old hospital tower will then come down after the new hospital is opened and operational. There are plans to later build a new medical office building at that site.

  2. Well, they evidently saved on design and beauty for this snap-together building …. But at least they can hire a media relations guy to tell us what a great view of Bernal Heights it has from the top of it. I just hope that it’s never blocked by some hideous and uninspiring big-box monstrosity! I’m going to go out and drink to the good fortune of the faceless developers and the gated islands they’ll be retiring to….

    • The new building is necessary because the old one is not seismically sound and there are not enough hospital beds in the city to meet state standards. The new design looks great. Certainly an improvement over the penetentiary vibes of the old one.

    • Vernon – please share some photos of the buildings you’ve designed. Thanks! – The Bernalwood community.

  3. I thought the old buildings were eventually coming down but I don’t see demolition on their construction schedule.

  4. I’m wondering about parking for the increased number of employees and residents of the medical building. I know many of the hospital employees currently park in Bernal, especially on Coleridge during the day. Neighbors are concerned about even more difficult parking conditions with the new building. Any update?

    • Yeah they park outside my place every day, but it’s not really a problem—just swapping out Bernal 9 to 5’ers for hospital employees, then reverse in the evening.

    • Wow, are we really complaining about the size of a hospital? Maybe the sick people can go be sick in a different neighborhood?

      • Given the new street alignment, if they miss their left on Valencia they’ll probably have to.

  5. With the majority of the exterior panels in place I couldn’t help but get the impression of a communist block building from the 1970s….

    Whoever designed the facade thinks that a pattern will make it look less monotonous but it doesn’t seem to have worked.

    Personally, I think the most interesting parts are the diagonal vibration dampers that are now covered up. Imagine a bold structural design that incorporated the state of the art earthquake upgrades rather than hiding all the sexy parts behind a drab set of panels. But, at least we have a new hospital.

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