Original article on AL.com by Alabama Media writer Michelle Matthews.
Mobile vascular surgeon Glenn Esses has everything he ever wanted in his new medical office and clinic on Dauphin Street – plus a few things he might not have known he wanted, such as a historic plaque, huge stained-glass windows and a working organ. Housed in a former church, the Vascular Center is a unique space that also happens to be the first of its kind in the area, with an on-site endovascular suite/catheter lab.
“We really lucked up with this building,” said his wife, Kristi Esses – herself a physician and business school graduate who works as the business manager at the Vascular Center. She found the church after an exhaustive search for just the right place. “There were very few commercial properties available that fit,” she said. “I needed something I could renovate.”
The church seemed to offer everything she was looking for in terms of space, location and accessibility. It’s close to Mobile Infirmary and provides safe, easy access for patients.
The church property includes three lots, dotted with 11 large oak trees. The flat gravel parking lot is easily navigable off Dauphin Street at Oakland Terrace, just east of another former church that is now home to the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science.
Designed by Mobile architect George B. Rogers, the building had served the same church since it was built in 1921. It is, according to Cartledge Blackwell, assistant director of the Mobile Historic Development Commission, “one of Rogers’s best institutional examples of Southern Colonial Revival,” with its white clapboard walls and tall columns.
“That house of worship is amazing,” Blackwell said. “Christian Science is a denomination known for its architectural commissions.”