Historic Detroit

Henry Ford Hospital

As Detroits population exploded, so did its need for hospital beds.In 1909, an effort began to establish Detroit General Hospital, and ground was broken in 1912. However, financial troubles shelved things until automotive pioneer Henry Ford offered to pick up the tab. In exchange, Ford would become president of the board and would be allowed to run the hospital his way. The 500-bed hospital admitted its first patient on Oct. 1, 1915. This original patient building — dating from 1914 and designed by William Buck Stratton of Stratton & Baldwin — still survives today, though it has been surrounded by other structures.

Construction on the main hospital building, the Henry Ford Hospital we know today, began in 1917, but was stalled because of World War I. Designed by Ford Motor Co. staff architect Albert Wood, it finally opened Dec. 21, 1921. The hospital was one of the largest in the world at the time, and could accommodate 2,000 patients. Over the ensuing decades, the main campus would grow to cover almost 34 acres. The hospital would pioneer a number of things considered standard today, such as full-time staffs that work at only one hospital and uniform fees for treatment. More than 12,000 employees, patients and visitors enter the campus each day

More on this building coming soon.