Posts Tagged ‘Lenox Hill Hospital’

When Brooklyn dedicated its German Hospital

March 9, 2011

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.

The fight over naming Lenox Hill Hospital

June 25, 2010

It started out in 1857 on Canal Street as the German Dispensary.

As the city’s German population moved north, the dispensary did too, first to East Third Street, then Second Avenue and St. Marks Place, and finally in 1905 to Fourth (Park) Avenue and 77th Street.

But in 1918, with anti-German sentiment raging, the dispensary got a more palatable name: Lenox Hill Hospital.

In 1925, the war long over, many hospital trustees, most of German descent, wanted the name changed back.

It wasn’t a nationalistic thing so much as a cash donation one. “Last year the deficit had grown to $50,000,” reported a New York Times article. “[a hospital trustee] felt certain that the resumption of the word ‘German’ in the hospital’s title would have a marked financial effect.”

The name switch didn’t fly though, and Lenox Hill Hospital is still based on 77th Street.