Emergency Hospital/City-County Hospital – Fourth

169 308 E. Fourth Street, Emergency Hospital/City-County Hospital, 1913; 1917; 1925-26; 1943. In 1913 Fort Worth voters approved a $20,000 bond issue, which was matched by an appropriation from Tarrant County, for the construction of a jointly administered city-county hospital to serve indigent patients. Completed that same year, the two-story red brick building designed by the Fort Worth architectural firm of Sanguinet and Staats, was called the Emergency Hospital. Dr. Webb Walker, city health officer, and Dr. D.S. Rumph, county health officer, were in charge of the 25-bed facility. From the beginning, the hospital was plagued with overcrowding. A 1917 renovation which included work on the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems did little to help the situation, but a 1925-26 expansion doubled the number of beds available. By this time the facility was generally referred to as the City-County Hospital. Overcrowding remained a problem and, in 1939 a new building was constructed at 1500 S. Main Street. The new facility was renamed John Peter Smith Hospital in 1954 and, after a number of additions and remodelings, still serves as the local public hospital. The old hospital building has seen a variety of uses including serving as headquarters for U.S. Military Police in 1943, as a polio treatment center in the early 1950s, as city health offices, and most recently as offices for the state Department of Human Services. In 1991 the building was vacant, but studies for long-term use were under consideration.

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