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What's In A Name?
updated: Jun 14, 2007, 12:00 AM

June 14, 2007 - What's In A Name?

If you look carefully at the SB logo shown in yesterday's Wednesday Where Is It (WWII) picture, you will see that the oval around the SB couplet has a gap in it at about first base. You see, the oval is not an oval at all. It is a C - the third letter in the alphabet and the first letter in the word Clinic. The C is important because it is a clue to figuring out that the WWII picture is of the old Santa Barbara Clinic Building.

A clue, but not a very good clue because there is a very good chance that you have never heard of the Santa Barbara Clinic. The Santa Barbara Clinic you see was the original name of what became the Santa Barbara Medical Clinic (1955), which became the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic (1973), which became the Sansum Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic (1998), which recently became the Sansum Clinic (2006). But, even if you knew all this, you probably wouldn't know the building we're talking about.

The new Clinic building on Pesetas Lane, off of Calle Real, near THE 154, was built in 1967. Before that, the Clinic was located at 1421 State Street,
right next door to where the Bankruptcy Court is today.

It all started in 1921. Rexwald Brown returned from doctor duty during WWI (one I) with the realization that there was a benefit to having doctors with different specialties all under one roof. Teaming up with Dr. Benjamin Bakewell and Dr. Hilmar Koefod, they moved under the roof at 1421 State.

Dr. Koefod, by the way, was one of the first doctors anywhere to identify that smoking was bad for your health. He was also a prominent local citizen, founding both the History Museum and the Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History.

Business at the clinic must have been good. In 1930 they remodeled 1421 State Street to look like it does today with arches,
a diamond pattern façade, the SBC logo, and four circular adornments saying, "Radiologia", "ars Medica", "Chirurgia", and "ars Obstetrica".

The dedicated staff of edhat.com, whose knowledge of Latin doesn't go beyond "Veni, Vidi, Vici", thinks that the circles translate to "Radiology", "the art of Medicine", "Surgery", and "the art of Obstetrics". Of course we wait, ex post facto, for Latin-loving Edhat subscribers to correct us.

By the way, figuring out the letters was not an easy walk down the Appian Way. It almost looks like they left out some letters and had to squeeze them back in.

We got a little help from Santa Barbara historian Neal Graffy on this article. He points out:

"The architect of 1421 State was the noted Carleton Winslow, Sr. and according to ‘legend', the building was originally owned by George Owen Knapp, who either had it built for the SBC or made it available to them.

Knapp was a huge donor to hospitals and medical groups. The Sansum Clinic
would never have existed without Mr. Knapp, and Cottage Hospital owes a lot to
him too. So if indeed Knapp did contribute to the founding of the Santa Barbara Clinic, the current joining of Sansum and the SBMFC brings two Knapp entities together."

Tommy Noodleman, Strasburg7, and El Barbareno were the only Edhat subscribers who saw the C around the SB and knew what it meant and where it was. The Edhat Canis was called in to break the tie. Three dog biscuits were placed in three corners of our four-cornered office. The Dog occupied the other corner. On command, The Dog moved with State Street Mile speed to quickly consume all of the biscuits. El Barbareno's corner was the first one visited. El wins the highly coveted Edhat t-shirt.

We took a ton of great pictures of the old clinic and its features. Check them out!


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