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El Paso City County Hospital
El Paso, Texas

 

Description: El Paso City County Hospital, remodeling, additions and replacement buildings
Other Names: El Paso General Hospital
Address: Alameda Avenue and Rand Street
Type: medical: hospital
Original Client: El Paso County
Date: about 1929-34
Condition: demolished, replaced by Thomason General Hospital

Architect or Firm: probably Gustavus A. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors:
Dimensions and Orientation: see under Drawings
Budget/Cost: 1929 – $550,000 bond issue; 1934 – $69,000 loan and grant building the addition

Foundation: none specified
Wall Materials: none specified
Roofing Materials: none specified
Other Materials Used: none specified

Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (L-49) 50 pages, blueprints and pencil on tissue; Layout of the El Paso City-County Hospital Grounds, repaired by the Office of the County Engineer, September 3, 1929; blueprints for isolation unit; plans for present building; 3 different plat plans; separate Crippled Children’s Home, no scale; two different sets of plans for separate H-shaped building; plan for a proposed X-shaped separate building; one tissue plan for grandiose 5-story building of 23,373 square feet, including sketch of elevation in upper right; (B-7) 83 pencil on tissue drawings, including several versions of front elevation, for large X-shaped hospital.
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Aultman A5302, the original hospital

Bibliography: (1) El Paso Herald February 12, 1929 page 10 speaks of the Mayor opposing the Magoffin site
(2) El Paso Evening Post October 28, 1929 page 1 ‘Consider plan for $1,000,000 Paso Hospital’
(3) El Paso Herald December 25, 1929 page 15 ‘Select Site’
(4) El Paso Herald February 26, 1929 page 26 ‘New Hospital in Two Years’
(5) El Paso Evening Post August 12, 1930 page 1 speaks of the site choose
(6) El Paso Evening Post January 27, 1931 page 1 ‘Committee on Hospital Issue Fails to Meet’
(7) El Paso Herald-Post September 4, 1931 page 6 ‘Divide the Job’
(8) El Paso Evening Post January 13, 1931 page 1 shows sketch of building and grounds
(9) El Paso Herald-Post August 25, 1931 page 1 ‘Board Approves $250,000 Hospital’
(10) El Paso Herald-Post July 21, 1934 page 15 ‘PWA Okays Contract’
(11) El Paso Herald-Post June 30, 1934 page 1 ‘County Hospital Loan Gets Okay’
(12) El Paso Herald-Post July 7, 1934 page 2 ‘Trost & Trost Names Architects’
(13) El Paso Herald Post July 19, 1933 page 10 ‘City Cannot Assure Upkeep of Hospital’
(14) El Paso Herald Post April 10, 1935 fees for architects of the City-Council Hospital

Remarks: It is believed that Trost & Trost carried out a the additions of the new wings of the hospital. Wayne L. Lorentzen, M.D., of El Paso, worked in the hospital as an intern. He recalls the building as small, with two separate wings, one for men and one for women, and an emergency room in the basement. There was a separate isolation building. The blueprints and six sets of tissue plans are most like the buildings he recalls.

The original two story 100 bed hospital opened it’s doors in 1915 and was known as El Paso General Hospital. The hospital accepted charity patients in need of care.

In February of 1929, Doctor W.L. Brown and the members of the medical society met to discuss a proposed hospital to be built within two years. The doctors agreed that the hospital should be on a site centrally located within the city. The Magoffin homestead was favored by the doctors and the city planning commission as the ideal site. A suggestion of a Psychopathic ward is also discussed.

Shortly after the recommendation of the city planning commission for the Magoffin homestead was made public, Mayor R.E. Thomason opposed the move in favor of preserving the homestead for historical value. The quoted price for the Magoffin homestead was $75,000.

In 1930, after several years of arguments as to the best location for a new City County hospital, the county commissioners agreed that the present site is best. Plans for the hospital were drawn by George Williamson, Braunton & McGhee and Trost & Trost.

The plans by Trost & Trost showed the present building to be used as a nurse’s home and for chronic cases. The main building was to have wings on each side in front and an extension to the rears. The crippled children’s school would be located in the main building. The tubercular wards was to be on the left rear of the grounds.

The proposed $550,000 bond issue was put to a vote on January 17, 1931. The vote was 2505 for and 2754 against. The new City County hospital for El Paso was a dead issue following the county commissioner’s court meeting. The El Paso real estate board refused to appoint a member to the committee or to act on a compromise bond issue.

In 1931, El Paso General was renamed to El Paso City-County Hospital.¬†Construction of a $250,000 City-County hospital was approved by the hospital board. Trost & Trost were asked to draw plans for the hospital. The recommendation was presented to the Chamber of Commerce and the mayor’s unemployment committee, which backed the proposed $835,000 bond issue for McKelligon canyon flood control, new hospital, Ysleta road widening and Fabens flood control. A bond election was called.

By 1933 the city stated it would do all it could to help with the expected increased operating cost of the City-County hospital with the additional wings and tubercular ward. The commissioners applied for loans for the new wings costing $50,000 and a tubercular ward costing $25,000. Trost & Trost agreed to draw preliminary plans without cost to the county.

A $69,000 loan and grant to build additions to the City County hospital was approved. Trost & Trost estimated that the bed capacity of the hospital would increase by 110. The proposed tubercular ward would have a 50 bed capacity, and the hospital wings 60. A negro ward and operating room was included. In July, Trost & Trost were named the architects for the hospital addition.

The hospital was later demolished and replaced with the Thomason General Hospital.

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990