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Time Running Out for Landmark, Once Central Emergency Hospital

<i> Joan A. Dektar is a North Hollywood free-lance writer</i>

One of the city’s most famous buildings will soon be razed to make way for expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The three-story, brick-faced structure at 1337 Georgia St. for 30 years was the city’s central emergency hospital and for 70 years housed Police Department units.

According to city archives, the building was opened in 1915 as a juvenile detention facility. Through the decades the Juvenile Division, Administrative Vice and Metro, among others, occupied the facility, which includes a jail.

On Sept. 1, 1927, the new Receiving Hospital, built at a cost of $135,000, was opened on the third floor. The unit replaced the outdated emergency hospital at 1st and Hill streets.

“Baby Fauso Bustus, 3-years-old, son of Mrs. F. Bustus, 1609 Redwood St., fell into prominence today as the first patient to be treated by the newly opened central receiving hospital in the Georgia Street police station,” started one newspaper story about the opening.

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It was only the beginning. Victims of shootings, rapes and mayhem as well as overdoses of pills were treated with efficiency and care by surgeons and nurses working around the clock.

Fourteen city-operated ambulances transported patients to Georgia Street or to satellite medical units in Hollywood and Lincoln Heights for treatment long before the idea of professional paramedic care was thought of.

Following World War II, Georgia Street became overcrowded, and on July 13, 1957, the hospital treated its last patient.

Central Receiving Hospital opened on West 6th Street, but closed in the 1960s when the county initiated an emergency medical care system using private and county hospitals.

Police continued to occupy the Georgia Street building until the mid-'80s, when time and wear began to show on the old structure.

All buildings in the area between Figueroa Street and the Harbor Freeway and Pico and Venice boulevards will be demolished to allow for the expansion of the Convention Center.


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