BOYLE HEIGHTS : Quake Damage Shuts Psychiatric Hospital


State engineers permanently closed the Psychiatric Hospital at County-USC Medical Center last week as workers prepared to fix cosmetic damage caused by the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake.

Inspectors found serious damage to the support columns and shear walls of the 166-bed, eight-story hospital, spokesman Harvey Kern said. Although some office workers have been in the building since the quake, all patients were moved out that morning.

Workers will shore up the building temporarily so equipment and furniture can be moved out.


“The cost of staying there would have been prohibitive. They figure it would take about $50 million for repairs and to bring the building up to code,” Kern said.

Adult patients are being treated at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk and teen-age patients are being treated at the Hawkins Mental Health Center at Martin Luther King Jr.-Drew Medical Center. Emergency mental health services are at General Hospital.