Jersey City Medical Center
50 Baldwin Avenue
State and National Registers of Historic Places, 1975
Designed by John T. Rowland, the Medical Center – at one point with 1,800 beds – was the largest hospital in the State. Four main buildings of light yellow brick and terra cotta, ranging from 14 to 23 stories formed an imposing segment of the city’s skyline.
Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague promised and produced the Medical Center. Work started in 1930 with the addition of a surgical building to the old City Hospital. The deepening Depression halted construction in 1932. Franklin Roosevelt greatly appreciated Frank Hague’s help in getting out the vote; from Washington D.C., generous funding flowed. Construction continued through 1941, providing jobs that saved many in Jersey City from ruin.
Housed in a 10-story structure, the Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital was added to the complex in 1931. At its peak of operation in the late thirties, quite possibly more babies were born there than in any other hospital of the Nation; the total for 1936 was 5,088. Of the 6,096 mothers admitted in that year, only 20 died – a maternal mortality of about one-third of 1 percent. The infant mortality was 2.5 percent. Both figures were well below the national average.
In addition to the surgery building and the maternity hospital, the campus included the nurses’ residence (Murdoch Hall), hospital for chest diseases (Pollock), a psychiatric hospital, and an outpatient clinic. The Medical Center’s services were free.
What You Don’t Know Can Kill You