Defunct city hospitals turned into homes

If St. Vincent’s Medical Center really does get made over into apartments, it won’t be the first time a city hospital was turned into residences.

That’s what happened to the old French Hospital, on 30th Street beween Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

Built in 1928 by the Societe Francaise de Bienfaisance, it replaced the original French Hospital on West 14th Street, then the city’s French section.

The hospital closed in the 1960s, and in 1981 became rentals. Section 8 rentals, according to the management company website.

But hey, how cool is it to live beside a door that says “clinic entrance?”

Probably not as cool as living in the former New-York Cancer Hospital, on Central Park West and 106th Street.

King’s Handbook of New York, published in 1892, says the hospital “. . . was founded in 1884, for the treatment of all sufferers from cancer, whose condition promises any hope of cure of relief.”

Those circular wards are lovely, but they had a medical purpose: Without room corners, doctors believed that there would be fewer germs hanging around making cancer patients sick.

The hospital, which eventually became Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, moved out in the 1930s. It sat vacant for decades before becoming luxury co-ops a few years ago.

Interested in a 5-bedroom home? Check out this Corcoran listing.

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19 Responses to “Defunct city hospitals turned into homes”

  1. petey Says:

    nice to see mention of the french hospital, my mum, an RN, worked there a bit. nyc used to have lots of smaller and/or national hospitals, there was an italian hospital once here in yorkville.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    So many of the little ethnic or neighborhood hospitals were combined into these massive medical centers with like 10 names, such as New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. It’s tricky to figure out their humble origins.

  3. petey Says:

    another, that suffered both fates, was Doctors’ Hospital on east end ave. as i understand it, it was originally a hospital run by its doctors (hence the name), then it became Beth Israel Medical Center/Continuum Health Partners – Singer Division, and then … a condo!

  4. Ruth Edebohls Says:

    The New York Cancer Hospital was founded in 1884 by Elizabeth Hamilton Halleck Cullum (wife of Civil War generals Halleck and Cullum, succesively) and her cousin, Charlotte Astor (wife of John Jacob Astor, III). The cornerstone was laid by Elizabeth in 1884 and the first building completed in 1887. Ironically, both died of cancer before the hospital’s grand opening in December 1887.

  5. Patrick Schuman Says:

    I was born at the French Hospital in 1956 and glad that the building was used for apartments , keeping the historical front. My family tree settled in Hell’s Kitchen, the west side , not far from the old hospital. This area of Manhattan had its zonning laws changed after 2001 . Thus the area is now changing and loosing it’s history. It will become as Five Points lost and forgotten as time and buildings replace the old neighborhood. The old brownstone / flat apartments / aka railroad tenaments / that were once private homes built pre civil war eara can not be replaced. Those that have survived are in the millions dollar range. However, like the farms and apple tree orchards of the 1600 & 1700 that gave way to the brownstones / these buildings that comprise the area had represented many different ethnic people and periods of american history. Today, the residents of this area are trying to keep the city from going further in skyrises . We must keep something for the next generations to come . Our family left Manhattan after One Hundred and Eighteen years. Third generation American , we love New York and proud to not only be American but to have the fullfillment of the dreams my ansesters had in arriving berfore Elis Island.

  6. When Manhattan had a French district « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] French Benevolent Society, French Hospital, an orphanage, and several professional groups representing French chefs, waiters, and musicians, […]

  7. MLMaynard Says:

    I was born in the French Hospital on December 25, 1939. When I was a preteen my parents took me there to see the building. Our family name was on the wall in the entrance hall (Fatton). My father told me his father’s great uncles gave some of the money for the hospital to be built. My mother told me the nurses told her I was the first baby born on Christmas Day at that hospital. This is hard to believe because of the population of NYC. My grandmother’s sister was a nurse at the hospital.

    • Martha LaCena Fatton Maynard Says:

      I have recently discovered that two of my grandmother’s sisters nursed at the French Hospital. Ellen O’Hanlon and Catheryn O’Hanlon. They were of the first group sent from the French Hospital to France to help nurse the troops in 1914.

  8. Karin S Says:

    I was born in the French Hospital September, 1940 and have been trying to find a picture without much luck. The address on my birth certificate says 329 West 29th Street… I am guessing the building may have been converted to residential?

  9. Miriam Morales Says:

    I was born in French Hospital December 11, 1962. I try to find picture without much luck.

  10. Mike Barton Says:

    My daughter was born there 1969, soon after hospital was closed and demolished..

  11. Hidden signage of defunct New York hospitals | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Here are a few more old city hospitals that have been repurposed into—what else?—high-end apartments. […]

  12. vola Says:

    i was born at the French Hospital in March 1967. I would like to see a picture too!

  13. Big Bill Sawyer Says:

    I was born at Park West Hospital in Manhattan on the 50 something street , I was new to the City and the World , so I cannot remember exactly where it was ! Anyone out there share this hospital in their lives !

  14. Joe K Says:

    I was born t the French hospital September 11 (yes, September 11th) 1952. Of course, September 11th was just September 11th until 2001. Always wondered what became of the old hospital. I have a scrapbook which I have out now because my 65th (yikes) birthday is in 4 days. If I find a picture, I’ll try to post it. JK

  15. All that remains of a now-defunct Bronx hospital | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] St. Vincent’s in Greenwich Village, the former French Hospital on West 30th Street, and a turn of the century hospital devoted to cancer on Central Park […]

  16. M. Love Says:

    I was born at the French Hospital on May 7, 1940. My birth certificate has the W. 29th St. address.

  17. Kathy Zyko Says:

    I was born at the French hospital 1959. I suffer from different health issues which may have been caused birth defects. Don’t know where to search for any hospital records any advice?

  18. Defunct city hospitals and their amazing buildings | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] of 19th and early 20th century hospitals that have either been demolished and forgotten, repurposed for other uses, or are still (partially at least) standing, but with a different […]

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