Recently, I found an old photo of Passaic General Hospital, c1910. It was quite a large hospital, I think, for its time, and it has had multiple additions through the years.
Passaic General Hospital was established in December 1891 as a 3-bed facility, used as a holding place for those who needed to be transferred to the hospital in Paterson. By June 1892, it had expanded to 47 beds.
In 1917, the Lyall Building opened and I think it is this building depicted on this postcard:
Passaic General Hospital
Source: Personal Postcard Collection
Passaic General Hospital was located at 350 Boulevard. As Passaic continued to grow, mostly due to the factories and mills drawing in thousands of immigrants, the Scoles Building was added in 1926, the Ackerson Maternity House in 1941, the Memorial Building in 1955, the Surgical Building in 1957 and the Reid Building in 1965.
I was born at the Ackerson Maternity House:
Linda’s Birth Announcement
Notice that the announcement specifically identified Ackerson Maternity House at Passaic General Hospital.
We had already moved to Wayne by the time the Reid Building opened in 1965. The hospital was renamed the General Hospital Center of Passaic.
At one time, Passaic had three hospitals – St. Mary’s, which opened in 1895, Beth Israel, which opened in 1927 and Passaic General. Today, there is only one hospital serving Passaic and that is St. Mary’s. However, the story is complicated with a bit of a twist.
In 2000, Atlantic Health Systems bought the hospital. Four short years later, they filed for bankruptcy and Beth Israel Hospital bought the facility, closing its original hospital on Parker Avenue and moving into what had been Passaic General Hospital. The new hospital was named PBI Regional Medical Center (for Passaic-Beth Isreal).
Financial issues continued, in spite of the new owners, and, in 2006, St. Mary’s Hospital became its new owners. St. Mary’s left its old buildings and moved into the PBI Medical Center. The hospital continues today as St. Mary’s.
I was curious as to what Passaic General Hospital looks like today and GoogleEarth was there to help:
Today – St. Mary’s Hospital
At first glance, it doesn’t look much like the c1916 photo – except – take a closer look at the left hand side of the building. The center red brick is obviously a more modern construction style and I think it is likely the 1965 modernization.
Now, look at the far left side of the building. That looks much older and could possibly be the same building as in the vintage postcard photo above.
Again, Google Earth came to the rescue, as I strolled around the block to the back entrance:
Building Design Detail
Here, we can see the much older design details on one portion of the hospital complex. Note where I added the purple arrows.
Now, take another look a the postcard view:
Building Design Detail
Although today’s building has apparently been refaced, it certainly looks like a bit of the original design details are still there. The old windows are also indicative of the original window placements.
Passaic General Hospital of 1917 has undergone several name incarnations and multiple building renovations, but at 99 years young, it is still serving the Passaic community.