Edgewater Hospital 1929-2001

Vol. XIV No. 3 - SUMMER 2003

By: Dania O’Laughlin, Curator

On Saturday, October 18, 2003, the Edgewater Historical Society will host a special exhibit opening event from 1-5 p.m. featuring the history of Edgewater Hospital from its founding in 1929 to its closing in 2001.

As many area residents know, Edgewater Medical Center closed its doors two years ago. Many also know it will not reopen. A few have been following closely the fate of the property the hospital’s campus lies on. Given the interest piqued by the closing we have collected photos and documents to record some of the history of this major institution in Edgewater. Please join us at this opening event and bring us your stories about the hospital.

Many Edgewater residents were born there and many had it’s dynamic founder, Doctor Mazel, a resident of the Edgewater Beach Apartments, as their personal physician. The hospital was started with funds from Edgewater developer John Lewis Cochran’s Real Estate firm. The story of Edgewater Hospital from 1929-2001 is full of reverberations of the larger story of the changing urban landscape of the time.

The hospital was in a fantastic story in Newsweek in 1978. It is the birthplace of former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as other notables. Two feature films had scenes filmed in the hospital. Pioneering research and procedures were performed there furthering the fields of cardiology and respiratory medicine. At this exhibit you may find out why the Chicago Fire Department was particularly rueful of its closing. Don’t miss this exhibit where you can have your memory refreshed by over 40 years of vintage images and artifacts on display. If you have any personal photos of the place let us know if we can incorporate them into the exhibit.