UNITY HOSPITAL 1924–1978
1545 St. John’s Place, Brooklyn, NY
Several years ago, while conducting research for a writing project, I wanted to add details about the hospital where I was born. I ultimately acquired a very large amount of data, paperwork, and photos. As it turns out, I ended up using very little about Unity Hospital in my project, but I learned, during the time that I was doing the research (mostly while surfing the Internet), that there are many persons out there whom are very interested in the history and operations of that facility, and want to know what had become of it. There are many who worked there, were treated there, or had also been born at Unity Hospital that have questions or want to offer their comments and stories. I even saw postings from persons trying to locate missing or long-lost siblings (or other relatives) that were born in Unity Hospital and they are asking for help.
With that said, I have decided to share much of the materials and information that I have gathered over the years with everyone, and at the same time create an ongoing project by providing additional information and pictures to this site on a continual basis. I have also started a Unity Hospital Births Database that I highly suggest everyone participate in. Even if you think that your having been born at Unity Hospital is not going to change anything, it may, on the contrary, turn out to be a HUGE help to someone out there.
There is also a link from this site that shows over 250 news related articles in which Unity Hospital was mentioned. That list begins with a “Birth Notice” in 1924. The page shows the date, title of article, and some lines from from the reported story. More news clippings, articles, and “stories from others” will be added to this site when they become available.
There is also a Facebook group related to this site where all of us, “the babies” of Unity Hospital, can meet and share views or pictures. Former employees or patients of Unity Hospital are also VERY MUCH WELCOMED, and probably very much needed.
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!
In time, this site will become the most thorough and comprehensive website with regard to Brooklyn’s Unity Hospital. Whether you are interested in Unity Hospital for nostalgic reasons, or because you are seeking help, or you want to offer your help, what you are looking for with regard to Unity may be found here.
If you like this site and want to see it grow, please give a small donation to help me continue gathering information (which, in many cases, requires a payment from me) and for maintaining this site. Please click on the Donate button below to donate $5, $10, or any amount you wish to give using your PayPal or credit card. Thank you!
Unity Hospital in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York opened
its doors to patients in 1924 and operated for 54 years. This hospital has a very unique and interesting history. The facility's
carelessness after closing down in 1978 was responsible for a law being
signed into the books in 1980 by then New York City Mayor Ed Koch,
following an outburst from the community and government officials with
regard to Unity Hospital having allowed the building to be ransacked after it shut
down (see news clippings below). Tons of medical records were lost or
destroyed by vandalism when the building became occupied by the city’s
homeless, gangs, and drug users. In 1978, the hospital’s medical staff,
janitors, office workers, and other employees were suddenly informed that
the facility will be shutting down. The hospital had been struggling
financially for years and was, in all essence, completely bankrupt. In
March of that year, much of the hospital’s equipment and supplies, as well
as the hospital's patients, were transferred to Brooklyn Jewish
Hospital, located several blocks away at 555 Prospect Place.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Unity Hospital’s employees
would be out of work. They were not offered employment in the hospital that
“absorbed” their facility. At one point, more than 300 employees began a
“sit-in” inside Unity Hospital’s cafeteria that continued for weeks and
had garnered the attention of major media outlets. By October of '78,
Unity Hospital had, for the most part, ceased to exist. The building was
basically abandoned, and although Brooklyn Jewish Hospital had acquired
much of what was inside the facility, Unity Hospital’s records, as well as
syringes and other medical supplies, had remained and ultimately fell into
the wrong hands. There were reports of body parts having been tossed from the building's windows and fetuses in jars
that were left
behind. These still-born babies of the hospital were later defaced by
vagrants out on city streets.
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