The Methodist Hospital of Southern California began operating in 1903 with
five beds in a two-story house on Hewitt Street in downtown Los Angeles.
The first patient was a Chinese woman. In 1909, the Women's Home Missionary
Society of the Southern California Conference of the Methodist Church,
founders of the hospital, began to raise funds for a new facility. The
Society purchased the former mayor's residence at 2826 South Hope
Street and determined that it was "just far enough out to be quiet,
just close enough in for convenience.
The existing house was outfitted with 18 beds and used temporarily until
a new 100-bed "thoroughly modern" facility was dedicated on
the site in May, 1915 at a cost of $500,000. It was the first major hospital
built in Los Angeles of reinforced concrete. At the time, the surrounding
area was one of the most desirable residential neighborhoods in the city.
The Hope Street location was further expanded to 225 beds in 1925 at a
cost of $600,000. The hospital was said to include "many modern conveniences
- radio was wired to every bed so that all that is necessary for entertainment
is to plug in."
Thanks to strong leadership, the hospital survived the financial challenges
of the Depression years, and its prestige continued to grow. In 1951,
it was approved for internship and residency training by the American
Medical Association. The hospital's operating rooms were the first
in Los Angeles to be air-conditioned, and Methodist also featured the
first post-operative recovery room in the city. The postwar population
shift to suburban areas of Southern California significantly altered the
hospital's future prospects at its downtown location.
The existing facility was sold to Los Angeles County, and in 1957, Methodist
Hospital reopened on a 22-acre campus in the Arcadia civic center, where
a new $3 million, 138-bed facility had been constructed. This was the
first community hospital built in California to include a psychiatric
unit. In addition, the hospital's nursery school was one of the first
corporate day-care facilities in the United States. A number of additions
have been made during the intervening years to the original structure.
A west wing opened in 1967, increasing capacity to 284 beds.
New surgical and laboratory/emergency/critical care additions followed.
The 169-bed Berger Tower was completed in October, 1998. In September
2011, the hospital opened the North Tower with 120 medical surgical beds,
20 CCU beds, and an expanded emergency department with 28 beds and an
additional 18-bed observation unit.
About the Hospital
Methodist Hospital has been serving communities in the San Gabriel Valley
since relocating to Arcadia from Los Angeles in 1957.
With a population of nearly half a million, this area includes Arcadia,
Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, Duarte, El Monte, Monrovia, Pasadena, Rosemead,
San Gabriel, Sierra Madre and Temple City.