The BOTD is a no-frills look at interesting structures of all types and from all neighborhoods. There will be old, new, important, forgotten, public, private, good and bad. Whatever strikes our fancy. We hope you enjoy.
Address: 555 Prospect Place, corner of Classon Ave.
Name: Brooklyn Jewish Hospital
Neighborhood: Crow Hill, part of Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1901-1927 (other parts added later)
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architects: Main building: George Morse
The Brooklyn Jewish Hospital was incorporated in 1901, and was dedicated in 1903. By the beginning of the 1950’s, it had grown to be one of the largest and best hospital complexes in Brooklyn.
In addition to the main building, which faced Classon Avenue, the hospital had a nurses complex and residence, built in 1927, and several adjoining pavilions, wings and clinics, the last of which seem to date from the 1950’s. Albert Einstein was a surgery patient here in the 1950’s.
By 1979, unfortunately, at a time when almost all city hospitals were failing, the hospital had filed for bankruptcy, and would merge with St. John’s Hospital, creating Interfaith Hospital, which is now located in Bedford Stuyvesant.
By 2000, the huge complex was abandoned and could have gone the way of so many large, and now, unwanted institutions, but was taken over and redeveloped into rental housing, beginning a few years later.
The reviews of the success of the project are mixed, as some of the six buildings, which are run separately, have had some persistent problems with getting their C of O’s, and getting needed repairs, but the result has still been a new village of people, spurring new retail traffic on Classon and Franklin Avenues.
The oldest, and most beautiful buildings were repurposed first, and now, some of the newer buildings are also being renovated, and plans for a supermarket are once more being entertained.
[Photos by Suzanne Spellen]