Cook County Hospital

Cook County Hospital

Limited Edition Framed Photos: 8×10: $125, 11×14: $150

Cook County Hospital opened its doors in 1914. Until 1967, the hospital set the standards for excellent medical training. During the 1920s, more than 42000 patients were treated on a yearly basis. In 1928 Cook County Hospital added a children’s hospital, men’s hospital, as well as a number of medical pavillions. These renovations made Cook County Hospital one of the largest hospitals in the country. Over the next 50 years new buildings were erected making waves for new renovations in order to keep up with its endless flow or patients. In 1939 the world’s first blood bank opened at Cook County Hospital. Its emergency room/trauma ward was one of the nation’s largest as well. In the 1980s, it was named the busiest hospital in the nation. Over 100000 people passed through the emergency rooms annually. The hospital started to show its signs of decay and in 1998 the Cook County Board of Commissioners took the final steps to approve construction for a brand new Cook County hospital, Stroger Hospital. During my four photo journeys to Cook County Hospital I witnessed much of the hospital’s demolition. Only one building out the original thirteen still stands, as it received a landmark status in the 1990s. I personally found the hospital to be one of the most interesting and overall vast facilities I have ever photographed. I lost myself at times in its seemingly endless hallways and rooms. In the time I spent photographing what remained of the hospital’s trauma wards, I was faced with strange noise I could not account for. I feel that if any place might have paranormal activities, this might be the place…the place where Chicago’s poor went to die for nearly a century.

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