Filed Under Healthcare

Lutheran Hospital

Founded in 1896, Lutheran Hospital is one of the oldest institutions in the Franklin Circle neighborhood. It is also the largest. Its campus extends from Franklin Boulevard on the north to Jay Avenue on the south; and from West 25th Street on the east to West 28th Street on the west. Without question, Lutheran Hospital has had a significant impact on the Franklin Boulevard neighborhood in the 116 years of its existence.

The hospital, which was organized by the Evangelical Lutheran Hospital Association, began its existence in the Beckwith House, a moderately sized mansion on the south side of Franklin Circle at 247 Hanover (West 28th) Street. The house was built by M.E. Beckwith, one of Cleveland's earliest professional photographers. In the mid-nineteenth century, Beckwith operated a "photographic parlor and art studio" at the corner of West 25th Street and Detroit.

In 1898, the hospital moved across the Circle when it purchased the Marcus Hanna mansion at 2603 Franklin Boulevard. Marcus, the man who later engineered William McKinley's successful 1896 presidential campaign, built the mansion on land deeded to his wife by her father, Daniel P. Rhodes, who lived next door at 2609 Franklin Boulevard. Hanna and his family lived in his mansion on Franklin Circle for about 22 years from 1868 until 1890, when he moved to his new mansion at 10400 Lake Avenue in what would later become known as Cleveland's Edgewater neighborhood.

In 1922, Lutheran Hospital razed the Hanna Mansion (and the Warmington mansion immediately to its east) and built on this land its first hospital building. In 1948, the hospital expanded its campus west, in the process razing the mansion of Daniel P. Rhodes, which had served as the home of St. John's orphanage since the death of Daniel P. Rhodes' widow Sophia in 1909.

In the decades that followed, Lutheran Hospital expanded its Franklin Avenue campus on several occasions, including major projects in the 1960s and 1970s. The 116 year old hospital continues to this day to be a vibrant institution on the near west side of Cleveland which has a significant impact on both Franklin Circle and the Franklin Circle neighborhood.

Images

The first Lutheran Hospital Lutheran Hospital was founded in 1896. It was initially located on the north side of Franklin Circle at 274 Hanover (West 28th) Street in a house built by M.E. and Margaret Beckwith. Beckwith was one of Cleveland's earliest professional photographers. Image courtesy of Raymond L. Pianka collection
Grand Opening On October 10, 1896, the above article appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, announcing the opening of new Lutheran Hospital on Franklin Circle. Image courtesy of Cleveland State University Library, Special Collections.
On the Circle This 1896 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows the original location of Lutheran Hospital on the south side of Franklin Circle between Dexter Place (West 29th Street) and Hanover (West 28th) Street. The building identified as "German Hospital" is the location of the original Lutheran Hospital. German Hospital was a short-lived predecessor that was located at 274 Hanover from 1894-1896. Image courtesy of Cleveland State University Library, Special Collections
Daniel P. Rhodes Mansion This undated photograph shows the Daniel P. Rhodes Mansion at 2609 Franklin Boulevard facing south on the north side of Franklin Circle. Rhodes was one of Cleveland's pioneer west side merchants and land owners. The Rhodes mansion was razed by Lutheran Hospital in the 1940s as part of a hospital expansion project. Image courtesy of the Raymond L. Pianka project.
Moving into the Hanna House This 1912-1913 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows the location and footprint of the Marcus Hanna mansion (outlined in red) on Franklin Circle. Lutheran Hospital purchased the Hanna mansion in 1898 and it served as the hospital's main facility for the next 23 years. In 1921, Lutheran Hospital razed the Hanna mansion, as well as the Warmington mansion next door to it, in order to build in their place its first modern hospital building . Image courtesy of Cleveland State University Library, Special Collections
Setting a Cornerstone In 1937, Lutheran Hospital built a new facility on Franklin Avenue which served as both a school and residence for nurses. Shown in this photograph are H.E. Klefman, then President of the Board of Directors of Lutheran Hospital, and L. Winifred Bowers, Superintendent of Nurses. Image courtesy of Cleveland State University Library, Special Collections.
Peoples Savings and Loan Building This photograph shows the buildings on the south side of Franklin Boulevard as seen from West 25th street in 1942. The building on the corner is the Peoples Savings and Loan Building, one of the earliest banks on the west side of Cleveland. Its first president was west side merchant Daniel P. Rhodes. The Peoples Savings and Loan Building, which later became the home of a branch of Cleveland Trust, was razed by Lutheran Hospital. The lot where the bank stood is currently a Lutheran Hospital parking lot. Image courtesy of Cleveland Public Library, Photograph Collection
Modernizing the Hospital This 1960 photograph shows the President of the Lutheran Hospital Association (left) discussing plans for an expansion of the Franklin Avenue building with the Chairman of the Cleveland Hospital Council (right). The project was built and completed in 1963. Image courtesy of Cleveland State University Library, Special Collections
Lutheran Hospital - 1963 This photograph shows the new facade of the primary Lutheran Hospital building located at 2609 Franklin Boulevard shortly after it was completed in 1963. Image courtesy of Cleveland Public Library, Photograph Collection
The Franklin House This small red brick building located on the north side of Franklin Boulevard across the street from Lutheran Hospital's main hospital building is one of the few historic buildings in the Franklin Circle area that was preserved by Lutheran Hospital as the hospital grew and expanded its campus over the last 116 years. According to newspaper accounts, the Franklin House was constructed in circa 1854 and originally served as the fire house for the Ohio City volunteer fire brigade. Later, it became the carriage house and stable for the Daniel P. Rhodes estate. The building was moved to its current location in 1978. Image courtesy of Jim Dubelko

Location

1730 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113

Metadata

Jim Dubelko, “Lutheran Hospital,” Cleveland Historical, accessed May 24, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/540.