Building a New Hospital, 1945-1955
1955 marks a year of new horizons with the rebirth of the Jewish Hospital. Fostered by conscientious men and women of progressive insight, the hospital which began in 1905 has been reborn and now is recognized as among the nation’s most modern and best equipped institutions to serve patient needs.
-Annual report of 1955 (folder 89)
By the end of World War II, the struggling Jewish immigrants of prior generations had gained a foothold in Louisville and were eager to serve their larger community. With the decision made to build a new facility, Jewish Hospital moved forward with planning and fundraising. The aim was to build a cutting edge facility that would expand Jewish Hospital’s commitment to inclusive patient care and medical education.
Leaders considered moving to the eastern edge of Louisville but ultimately decided to remain centrally located. In 1950, the board voted to build downtown, forming an anchor for the newly organized University of Louisville medical center. Louisville’s Jewish community donated over $800,000 to the building fund, enabling Jewish Hospital to apply for and receive a $1,284,000 federal grant. The Jewish architectural firm Joseph & Joseph designed the final product: a 118-bed ultramodern hospital that opened on Chestnut Street to great fanfare in 1955.