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Jersey City Greenville Hospital and Dispensary
1825 Kennedy Boulevard
West Side of Kennedy Boulevard (formerly Hudson Boulevard)
Between Stevens and McAdoo Avenues
Greenville

Photograph of Greenville Hospital circa 1950 showing the original 1912-1914 structure.

Courtesy, Jersey City Free Public Library

Greenville Hospital,
Kennedy Boulevard entrance.
The contemporary turquoise and red brick facade hides the older structure which still remains at the building's core..

Photo: C. Karnoutsos, 2007

After almost one hundred years of service, Greenville Hospital on Kennedy Boulevard closed on April 23, 2008. The 100-bed facility was an acute care community hospital with a tradition of serving the Greenville section of Jersey City dating back to 1898. Now with an agreement between LibertyHealth Systems and Community Healthcare Associates reached in 2012, the facility will be renovated to continue as an outpatient medical center.

The hospital first opened as the "German Hospital and Dispensary of Hudson County, New Jersey" in a house located on Danforth Avenue by the Schwabischer Kranken Unterstitszungs Verein of Hudson County. Serving as an outpatient dispensary, it was operated by the Suabian Sick Benefit and Folks Festival Society, a German civic organization. They purchased the property and incorporated the hospital "to care for, nurture the sick, injured or those afflicted by disease, or victims of accidents or casualty, and the training, education and instruction or preparation of persons, male or female, to act as nurses."

At the time of the founding of the hospital, a new wave of German immigrants were arriving in Greenville, a section of Jersey City where earlier generations of Germans had already settled. The newcomers were most likely fleeing their homeland in anticipation of growing militarism in Europe and future war. They founded two German Lutheran congregations. One is the Greenville Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church erected in 1877 on Kennedy Boulevard and McAdoo Avenue. The Gothic-style church was renovated circa 1899. The other is the English Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (now called the Redeemer Lutheran Church) on Warner Avenue constructed in 1898.

The hospital building on Kennedy Boulevard was designed by local architect Robert C. Dixon. New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson joined Jersey City's Mayor H. Otto Wittpenn for the laying of the cornerstone on May 30, 1912. Also participating at the ceremony was the Rev. John E. Heindel of the Church of the Redeemer. The hospital opened to the community on June 1, 1914, with 32 beds. It thereby became the third hospital in Jersey City, along with the Jersey City Hospital on Baldwin Avenue (later Jersey City Medical Center) and the Christ Hospital on Palisade Avenue.

Due to the pressures of anti-German hostilities during World War I, the directors of the German Hospital renamed it the Greenville Hospital in 1918. They were determined not to allow the name to stand in the way of assisting those in need, especially with the increasing demands on local hospitals due to the war. The constant motto of the small neighborhood hospital was "Partners in care--sharing time and resources."

The contemporary twentieth-century style building has been renovated over the years with extensions to the structure and reconfiguration of the entrance. The west wing to the hospital was added in 1971. In 1989, the Greenville Hospital joined with the Jersey City Medical Center; two years later they both joined the LibertyHealth Systems, a consortium of health care services in Hudson County.

Another renovation of Greenville Hospital took place in the late 1990s coinciding with its centennial anniversary. From May 2004 to 2008, it operated as an acute care facility. The completion of the new Jersey City Medical Center, less than three miles away at 355 Grand Street, and financial losses brought about a decision to close the community hospital. For two years (2009-2011), it became the Jersey City Medical Center's Emergency Medical Service. Subsequently the LibertyHealth Systems recognized that the city's growing population requires an urgent care center that could occupy the Kennedy Boulevard facility. It has sold the hospital to Community Healthcare Associates who will readapt the facility for its new specialization and lease it to LibertyHealth Systems.

References:

Fink, Jason. "Pulling Plug on Greenville Hosp [sic]," Jersey Journal 28 April 2008.
Gomez, John. "'Dream of Years' Come True," Jersey Journal 15 March 2006.
Hack, Charles. "Plan New Use for Greenville Hosp [sic]," Jersey Journal 1 August 2012.
Harwood, Brett. "Making More Efficient Use of Hospital Resources," Jersey Journal 28 April 2007.
Thorbourne, Ken. "Greenville Hosp [sic] Shuts April 23," Jersey Journal 25 March 2008.
Greenville Hospital. http://www.libertyhealthcarenj.com/gh/main.html


By: Carmela Karnoutsos
Project Administrator: Patrick Shalhoub