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 the 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.