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From the Archives: L.A. County’s new General Hospital ablaze with light during test

Feb. 16, 1933: The brand new General Hospital during lighting test to see if power plant can produce
Feb. 16, 1933: The brand new General Hospital during lighting test to see if power plant can produce enough electricity to power 9,000 light fixtures. The lights were left on for four hours.
(Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

Construction of the Los Angeles County General Hospital began in 1926. In early 1933, power plant testing commenced. For a test on Feb. 16, every bulb was lighted.

The next morning, the Los Angeles Times reported:

“Presenting a brilliant blazing picture which could be seen for miles, every light bulb in the new $10,000,000 General Hospital was lit last night in a special test conducted by the architect, Edwin Bergstrom, to determine whether the lighting plant of the structure can sustain its peak load. There are 9000 lighting fixtures in the new institution and many of them carry more than one bulb.

“While the lights blazed for more than four hours, an inspection party, headed by the architect and Norman R. Martin, executive superintendent of the hospital, made a tour of the entire structure and failed to discover a flaw in the lighting system. Included in the party were Supervisors [Frank] Shaw, [John] Quinn and [Harry] Blaine, several members of the grand jury, members of the hospital's medical advisory board and the heads of its various departments.”

The hospital had its grand opening April 15, 1934.

Today, the facility is part of the L.A. County-USC Medical Center. In 2008, hospital operations were moved to a new complex next door.

Construction in 1928 on L.A. County General Hospital
Jan. 7, 1928: Construction is underway on the Los Angeles County General Hospital. The hospital opened on April 15, 1934. Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here


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