Filed Under Healthcare

Doctors' Hospital

Graced with a particularly rhythmic and memorable address – 12345 Cedar Road – Doctors' Hospital was actually a converted eight-story apartment building: the former Edgehill Apartments. The structure stood slightly south and east of what are now the Buckingham Condominiums at the crest of Cedar Hill.

Transformed from a residence to a medical facility, Doctors' Hospital opened its doors in August 1946, following nearly ten years of fundraising by physicians associated with the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland. The hospital was governed by a new non-profit entity: The Cleveland Memorial Foundation, Inc. By the mid 1950s, Doctors' Hospital had more than 200 beds and a variety of medical specialties, including pediatrics, osteopathy and oncology.

Despite its value to patients and the community, Doctors' Hospital survived little more than 20 years, with myriad growth plans thwarted by space and zoning constraints. In 1953, a proposal to double the facility's size (including a proposed school of nursing and a basement bomb shelter) was rejected by the Cleveland Heights building commissioner and the City's Board of Zoning Appeals. According to The Sun Press, the reason (painfully familiar to many Cleveland Heights residents and visitors) was a lack of parking. Three years later, hospital officials unsuccessfully sought to build a second Doctors' Hospital in South Euclid at the corner of Belvoir and Monticello – property the city had originally purchased to use as a dump. By 1960, hospital officials also were eyeing building sites in Solon and Twinsburg, neither of which panned out.

The beginning of the end came in 1964, when the US Public Health Service announced that $1.7 million in grants would be made available to relocate Doctors' Hospital to 15 acres of donated land in Mayfield Heights east of SOM Center Road. In 1966, the City of Cleveland Heights announced plans to replace Doctors' Hospital with a fire station, as well as a new city hall (to replace the outdated building where Honda of Cleveland Heights now stands on Mayfield Road). The next year, the City bought the Doctors' Hospital building and land for $675,000. Shortly after, construction began on the Mayfield Heights facility, tentatively named Doctors' Hospital. The complex, eventually christened Hillcrest Hospital, opened in November 1968, with 31 patients transferred by ambulance from the doomed Doctors' Hospital in Cleveland Heights.

Doctors' Hospital was demolished in February 1969 and the new fire station and city hall were built elsewhere. Most of the Doctors' Hospital site, somewhat ironically, is now a municipal parking lot.

Images

Postcard of Doctors' Hospital Postcard photo of Doctors' Hospital on Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights. Prior to 1946, the building was The Edgehill Apartments. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Cedar Road Streetcar, 1946 Streetcar at the crest of Cedar Hill, ca. 1946. Both Doctors' Hospital buildings can be seen in the background, facing east. Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society
Doctors' Hospital, 1967 View of the eight-story Doctors' Hospital taken from Cedar Road. The shorter building at left was The Overlook Apartments, which also became part of the Doctors' Hospital complex. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Demolition of Doctors' Hospital, 1969 Unable to expand, Doctors' Hospital left Cleveland Heights and moved to Mayfield Heights, where it became what is now known as Hillcrest Hospital. Today the former site of the hospital at the top of Cedar Hill is occupied by a municipal parking lot. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Hillcrest Hospital Rendering, 1966 Hillcrest Hospital, which began as Doctors' Hospital, finally gave the institution the space and parking it required. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections

Location

Metadata

Chris Roy, “Doctors' Hospital,” Cleveland Historical, accessed August 13, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/index.php/items/show/694.