BROOKLYN JEWISH HOSPITAL, Prospect Heights

Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, later called Interfaith Medical Center after a 1983 merger, occupied a huge swath in Prospect Heights in buildings facing Classon Avenue, St. Mark’s Avenue and Prospect Place. Its original name is still showing in terra cotta lettering on its Classon Avenue side. 

In 1903, the Brooklyn Hebrew Hospital Society purchased property along Classon Avenue belonging to the Memorial Hospital for Women and Children, and spent three years fundraising and acquiring additional properties, opening to patients in December 1906. Even more property was acquired in 1928 that was used to build an additional wing.

After several decades, Jewish Hospital’s fortunes declined along with the neighborhood. In 1983, it merged with St. John’s Episcopal Hospital to form Interfaith Medical Center. Ultimately Interfaith moved out, and the vast property became residential units (much like my old high school, the nearby Cathedral Prep, did in 1985). 

I have a personal memory of Brooklyn Jewish Hospital. I went in there just once, in 1975, to visit an ailing classmate in high school, Fred Costanzo. Though Fred was undersized, he was an agile athlete and active in our school’s extracurricular activities. Late in our senior year, Fred contacted leukemia and though he seemed upbeat when I and other friends went to see him, he succumbed during the summer in an era when there were not the life-extending treatments for leukemia available today.

Thus, I always feel the pull of nostalgia when I’m in Prospect Heights and walk past the old place.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”

3/29/18


5 Responses to BROOKLYN JEWISH HOSPITAL, Prospect Heights

  1. James Thompson says:

    I remember Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, spent a lot of time there as patient. This was in the 1950 to 1962 time and I went back forth to the children ward. I remember the walls were painted with complete stories like Ferdinand the Bull and stayed this way for years, this made my stay a little easy. They also had a children’s play room with toys and games. I had visited the hospital later as an adult to see a friend’s child and was sorry to see the walls were painted over.

    • Anonymous says:

      I also spent time often at Brooklyn Jewish besides being born there in 1953 at the age of five I had kidney surgery and then at the age of twelve and fourteen was hospitalized for minor back issues. I remember well the children’s playroom also the nurses student nurses and I’m guessing residents and interns were warm and friendly. In those days your parents didn’t stay with you overnight.

  2. Dan says:

    As a kid during the late 1950s and early 60s, I went for weekly allergy shots at the Jewish Hospital’s low-cost public clinic.

    The wait was always endless. The wooden benches were hard. The gloomy, echo-filled hallways went on forever. And I’m sure more than one kid made a snack out of the lead-based paint that flaked off the institutional green walls.

    The place had all the “charm” of a Victorian madhouse. Like something out a Dickens novel. And though I probably received thousands of shots over many years, my allergies never really went away.

  3. Susan B, Lioy says:

    LOOKING FOR SOMEONE THAT WAS BORN THERE . I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THE TIME OF BIRTH WAS IN MILITARY TIME . THERE APPEARS TO BE A MISTAKE ON MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE

    • Bettie says:

      I was born there in the mid-1950s. The time on my hospital certificate is *not* in military time. I was born around 8 p.m., and the time is recorded that way. I hope this is helpful.

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