Built in 1923, Mercy Hospital is St. Petersburg's oldest surviving hospital building. Designed by St. Peterburg architect, Henry Taylor, it was directed by Dr. James Ponder, one of the most influential leaders of St. Petersburg's African American community. Dr. Ponder became St. Petersburg's first African American physician in 1926. As the primary care facility for the City's African Americans from 1923 to 1966, Mercy Hospital was the site of protests demanding the desegregation of the City's hospital facilities during the civil rights movements of the 1960s. A public gallery features early contributions by African American physicians and health workers to St. Petersburg's medical community.