Wish-I-Ah rock wallA WPA built rubble wall in front of the "Lodge." Photo courtesy of Andrew Laverdiere, © Creative Commons BY-NC-ND, Nov. 28, 2017.
Once known as the Wish-I-Ah Healthcare & Wellness Centre, this nursing home was built in 1928 as a sanatorium for tuberculosis by Fresno County and was sold to become a private care center for the aged when T.B. virtually disappeared in the 1940’s.
The WPA got involved in February 1936 by hiring a “graduate nurse from relief roll to assist Supt. and Medical Director of Wish-i-ah Sanitorium, to assemble data and keep records pertaining to tuberoulin as a diagnostic measure.” WPA project 0412-345 $525. The WPA also engaged in construction work “on Co. Rd. to Tuburcular Sanatorium near Auberry. To improve about 3/4 mile of Rd. by grading to 20 Ft. construct a rubble rock wall 150′. To widen branch Rd.” WPA project 0412-421 $6,975.
The facility closed in 1955 and later reopened privately as a nursing and rest home. Los Angeles based Shlomo Rechnitz and his company, Brius Management bought Wish-I-Ah in 2009 as part of his buy up of 81 other nursing homes. By then, the facility had been a major employer in the rural area for more than half a century. Over time major problems surfaced as part of Rechnitz’s slumlord style of management resulting in violations including unsanitary conditions in the kitchen, non-functioning bathrooms, linens unavailable to residents, an improperly maintained sewage treatment system, and lack of staff training on wound care. The report said the failures exposed residents and staff to infectious disease and a noted September 28, 2014 death. Rather than spending money to fix problems demanded by regulators, the facility was abandoned in 2015.
WPA job card
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on December 1, 2017.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE