Park Slope’s Victorian Hospital

A turn-of-the-century view of Methodist Hospital on Seventh Avenue in the Slope. Originally known as Methodist Episcopal Hospital, it was built with a $400,000 gift from Brooklynite George Seney, who, according to a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article, did not want his name associated with the hospital.

The Eagle article says the hospital has “75 beds, many of which are endowed.” In other words, they were reserved for sick people who could not afford a room. Endowing a hospital bed was a popular way for wealthier citizens to “give back” back in the day.

In A Drinking Life, Pete Hamill remembers his mother working at the hospital after his father lost his job in the 1940s: “My mother wasted no time with either blame or consolation; she started work as a nurse’s aide at Methodist Hospital, leaving at three in the afternoon, coming home around eleven. Sometimes Tommy and I walked her to work, passing the bars of my father’s world, and watched her vanish into the hospital.”

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