Mother Cabrini arrived in Seattle in 1903. Under the direction of Bishop Edward O’Dea, Mother established Mount Carmel Mission at 1133 S 12th Avenue on Beacon Hill. The Mission included a school, convent, temporary mission chapel, and Sacred Heart Orphanage. Mother Cabrini personally supervised the construction of the Beacon Hill house. On one occasion Mother took up the pick ax and began to loosen the soil, saying that “a true missionary must be able to do any kind of work”. In 1914 Mother established Sacred Heart Villa, an orphanage that consisted of a main residential and school building. In 1915, Mother purchased the Perry Hotel property site. The site opened in 1916 as the Columbus Sanitarium (later renamed Cabrini Hospital). Cabrini Hospital operated until 1990, when rising costs and the hospital’s policy of providing services to patients regardless of their ability to pay, forced the decision to close. In 2006, the Missionary Sisters opened the Cabrini First Hill Apartments on the site of the former Cabrini Hospital. Cabrini First Hill consists of 50 units of affordable, independent living with supportive services for the low-income and frail elderly. The Cabrini First Hill Apartments are considered a national model for housing developers.
Submitted by: A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director