When Brooklyn dedicated its German Hospital

October 22, 1894 was a proud day for the prosperous German community centered around Bushwick and Ridgewood.

That’s when the cornerstone of the new German Hospital, on St. Nicholas Avenue between Stockholm and Stanhope Streets, was put down.

“The project for the erection of a hospital has been under discussion by Brooklyn Germans for several years,” stated a  celebratory New York Times article. “The various German clubs and singing societies throughout the city interested themselves in the matter, and finally enough money was raised.”

Speaking to a crowd of 5,000, Brooklyn Mayor Charles Schieren promised:

“It will not be an exclusively German hospital, but all patients, without distinction as to race or creed, will be admitted but, naturally, the control, as well as the care and keeping, will be left to our German citizens, and in their hands it can be safely left.”

So what happened to German Hospital? Like Manhattan’s German Hospital, it underwent a name change after World War I, when anti-German sentiment was high.

The Brooklyn hospital became Wyckoff Heights Hospital, now Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.

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26 Responses to “When Brooklyn dedicated its German Hospital”

  1. Kaz Says:

    Or, as I’ve always called it, Wyckoff Heights Butcher Shop. I hope they’ve improved.

  2. Sal Says:

    What a great building. Where did you find the photo?

  3. Alia Says:

    How strange! I moved to Ridgewood, four blocks away from the hospital, in 1958. Myself, my sister, father & husband were patients there, I went to nursing school there and later worked there – but it certainly didn’t look like this photo. It was a very gothic style hospital and I can find nothing familiar in the photo. Do you know of any other photos of Wyckoff Heights Hospital? before it was torn down and replaced with the Medical Center.Thanks so much.

  4. Alia Says:

    How strange! I moved to Ridgewood, four blocks away from the hospital, in 1954. Myself, my sister, father & husband were patients there, I went to nursing school there and later worked there – but it certainly didn’t look like this photo. It was a very gothic style hospital and I can find nothing familiar in the photo. Do you know of any other photos of Wyckoff Heights Hospital? before it was torn down and replaced with the Medical Center.Thanks so much.

    • Fran Hallock Says:

      Alia, I went to nursing school there too. I graduated in 1968. When were you there? I just remember it looking like St. Elsewhere.

      Fran

      • Alia Says:

        Hi Fran, I graduated in 1971. Marie Odom was director of nursing, and I lived in the dorm at Bethany Deaconess. Sure wish I’d taken pictures of the hospital at that time! I loved the 30 bed wards with one bathroom, bed baths, big ole heavy O2 tanks, portable suction bottles, metal bedpans, clanking radiators in the winter, no a/c and opening the windows in the summer, students yellow dresses with the white ‘apron’ – the sickening green color of the walls, every patient getting a back rub at bedtime and the looooong hospital stays for what are considered minor issues today. But that old building sure had a lot of character. -Alia

  5. Mrcus cruz Says:

    The main entrance from the building in the picture still there at the new wyckoff hospital . But its sealed you can still see the arch

  6. Constance Grudesen Says:

    Connie Grudesen

    I was born in that hospital in 1953. I live now in Germany and met a man from east Germany Genthin, he too was born in that hospital. His mother left Germany in 1920 and married in Ridgewood a Germany man and she bore her son in Wyckoff Heights Hospital. She was proud that she bore him in a German Hospital.

    The picture of the original building is very impressive!

    Thank you!

  7. Richard Ilardi Says:

    Born there in 1956, lived right up the block on Stanhope St. until 61. This is how I remember it as a little boy.

  8. Patricia Nowkin(Catterson) Says:

    I was born in this hospital in 1950. I also was a candy striper and then in 1969 attended the school of nursing there. I worked pediatrics from 1970-1976.It was a beautiful hospital.

  9. Patricia Nowkin (Catterson) Says:

    I was born there in 1950. in 1966 I was a candy striper whos supervisor was Irene Anastacio. In Sept. of 1969 i started in the nursing program under Marie Odom. I graduated in Sept. 1970 and went to nwork on pediatrics until 1976. Those were some great years. my name is Patricia Nowkin (Catterson).

  10. Alia Yousaf Says:

    Welcome to the Wyckoff Heights Alumni board, Patricia LOL. You graduated a year before I did yet your name isn’t familiar. I do remember Irene Anastacio, and Allen Podell was director. Do you remember Dr’s Rao, Jittanoonta, Arce, Sy, Hsu & Rathod who were all residents at the time?

  11. Patricia Nowkin (Catterson) Says:

    Yes I do. In fact Dr.Rao was a resident when I worked Pediatrics. In 1989 he took my gallbladder out now that was crazy. Also do you remember Susie Jones, Dr.Reed , Dr. Renato Yu who I went to work for after I left Wyckoff. One of my classmates was Anna Cotto and we both worked Pediatrics for 5 years.

  12. Alia Yousaf Says:

    Last I heard, Dr. Rao was chief of surgery at the hospital (or medical center, as it is now) Dr. Renato Yu is a familiar name although I don’t recognize the others. I actually worked at the hospital before going to school (as switchboard operator) but did not work there after graduating. Did you know Hattie Hodges? She graduated with me and later worked in the E.R.

    • A C Rao Says:

      HI Thanks for remembering me joined as a resident in 1967 retired as chief of surgery in 2012 currently President Spartan Medical School St Lucia ready to fold my practice same location all these memorable years Hope to meet all of you A C Rao

      • Alia Says:

        Hi Dr. Rao,
        So nice to hear from you. St. Lucia is gorgeous from what I hear. After all those years at Wyckoff Heights, you certainly saw a lot of changes. Know I wouldn’t recognize anything about it nowadays. Wish you a lovely retirement – it feels good to stop working, if you ask me!
        – Alia

  13. Patricia Nowkin (Catterson) Says:

    Dr. Renato Yu was a Pediatrician and was head dr. there. Also do you remember Dr. A. La Marca, Mrs Bambauer who was in Charge of Male Ward 29. There was a nurses aide named Gerstenfield and the head nurse of 5c was Gizzelle McKenzie.

    • Alia Says:

      Patricia, aside from Dr. Yu I’m afraid no one else sounds familiar. I think there was an obstetrician named Calcagno and a G.P. named Dr. Powell, although he died in the early 70’s, I believe.

  14. Patricia Nowkin (Catterson) Says:

    Yes their was a Dr. Calgano And Dr. Powell also Dr. Algozerwho was partners with Dr. Calgano. I just read that Dr. Renato Yu passed away. I worked for him after I left Wyckoff in 1975

  15. Kathleen Kraniak Snyder, CRNA Says:

    I worked as a CRNA with Drs. Holder, Reed and Jones. Does anyone have any info about any of them.
    Kathleen Snyder, CRNA

  16. mary eberhardt Says:

    My grandmother worked at the hospital when she first came to New York from Germany around the turn of the century. I still have her round silver nursing pin from there. The pin states, “German Hospital” and has a red cross on it.

  17. Alia Says:

    Mary, reading your entry made me hunt down my nursing pin. It is a small round 10K gold pin with a white cross in the middle, with the words ‘Wyckoff Heights Hospital’ on top, and around the bottom is ‘Practical Nurse’, with our initials carved in the back. Have lost my RN pin but still have this one.

  18. carolmarano Says:

    These memories are absolutely “priceless!” I graduated WHH School of Practical Nursing in 1976 … any reunions on the horizon?

  19. Betsy Aziz Says:

    How do I find out about my grandmother and her sister who trained as nurses at the (then) “German Hospital of Brooklyn” starting, we believe, in about 1901? Their names were Florence Mary Lavina Alyward b 1881 and Lazelle Alyward b 1879.

  20. Michael McConnell Says:

    Hello, My great-aunt Amalie Kaufmann emigrated from Germany around 1920, attended the nursing school and later worked at at the German Hospital of Brooklyn. She lived at 149 St.Nicholas Avenue and died in 1954.

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