Collection ID: BHC-MSS 0154

Collection context

Summary

Date:
1926-1993
Abstract:
Park City Hospital was founded in 1924, meant to serve the downtown Bridgeport community and provide quicker access for emergencies for those who could not speedily access the northern Bridgeport or St. Vincent's hospitals. This smaller hospital served the community until 1993, and helped to provide high quality care to the immediate area. These records reflect this community impact through clippings, publicity documentation, and newsletters, along with annual reports among other documents.
Extent:
5 linear feet
Language:
English .

Background

Scope and Content:

This collection primarily compromises of hospital publicity, both through the newspaper clippings series and the subject files relating to the hospital's Auxiliary. These files, along with the newsletters and annual reports help to demonstrate in brief the hospital's financial situation, the services provided, and the community impact that a centrally located hospital in downtown Bridgeport had. The publicity and advertisement series likewise helps to underscore this point.

Not present are extensive financial records or administrative files that provide day-to-day insights, or inside information regarding the merger with Bridgeport Hospital. The closest series that reflects this day in and day out element is series II, the patient registers, which includes names, ailments, and discharge information. Please note that the registers containing data from the 1950s are restricted for an additional 15 year (available in 2036) out of an abundance of caution for medical records for still living patients.

Biographical / Historical:

Park City Hospital was founded in 1924, and closed in 1993. Located in downtown Bridgeport, founding Doctors John Formichella, Paul B. Hippolitus, Benjamin Marglia, Joseph Beaudry, Frederick Williams, and Dr. Emmanuel Brodsky foresaw that the central area of the city would continue to expand, and that the city needed at least one hospital that was not in the northern area of the city, allowing for better responses to emergencies and accidents. The Jewish Hospital Building Fund Association took over administration in 1927.

The original hospital building was in the mansion of Colonel Nathaniel Heft, built in 1889 from Heft's fortune in engineering - he installed the first electric street car system in the city. Like St. Vincent's and Bridgeport Hospital, the early days of Park City Hospital saw a mix of medicine and surgery performed in the building. The medical field was continuing to develop in the 1920s, and so having offices and general practice in addition to surgical rooms and other like services was still common.

Park City Hospital was accredited by the American Medical Association in April of 1942, and received full hospital accreditation by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals in 1951. The hospital benefitted from the work of a number of doctors in its history, with Drs. Milton Unger and Nathan Tolk among the most prominent.

By 1961, demand for beds and better facilities and the need to keep up with the city of Bridgeport's population as well as technological advances in medicine meant that Park City Hospital needed to expand and improve. This necessitated the demolition of the Heft mansion, replacing it with a more modern facade. The new north wing was completed in 1966, the diagnostic wing in 1967, OB/GYN ward in 1970, pediatrics center in 1971, dental center in 1975, psychiatric services in 1976, and revamped ER room in 1978.

Fundraising for the hospital was primarily done by the Women's Auxiliary, later the Auxiliary of the Park City Hospital. They held events, annual dances, and other forms of outreach with the public and with donors to ensure the hospital continued to function. It also sponsored the hospital's gift shop.

In 1992, the Park City Hospital's administration voted to merge with Bridgeport Hospital due to financial troubles. A portion of these financial troubles were due to not having a teaching program, unlike St. Vincent's and Bridgeport Hospital. Medical staff and other employees were concerned regarding job security and loss of services to the community, especially as there were no other hospitals centrally located near the downtown area – one of the reasons Park City was begun in the first place. However, the merger went through and Park City Hospital began to shut down in phases starting in 1993, closing for good in 1996.

The building sat in disuse for a number of years. In 2010 the building reopened as The Eleanor and The Franklin, apartment complexes for low income senior citizens. The units have helped to replace the housing at Father Panik Village, another low-income housing area in the city that gained a reputation for violence in the 1970s and 1980s in Bridgeport.

Arrangement:

Material has been placed into 9 series. Series I, annual reports are arranged chronologically. Series II, patient registers, are likewise chronological. Two volumes are restricted at this time. Series III, development and committees, is also arranged chronologically. Series IV, newsletters, has been arranged alphabetically by newsletter title. Series V, Auxiliary, contains subject files generated by the Auxiliary division of Park City Hospital, the organization's fundraising arm. Series VI contains clippings curated by the hospital itself, originally housed in binders and since removed. It is arranged chronologically.

Series VII, publicity and advertising, contains VHS tapes, cassettes, and reel to reel recordings meant to advertise the hospital and hospital fundraisers. Series VIII contains photographs, with exterior and interior images placed first, followed by staff, patients, and then events. Other material, the final series, is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Access

LOCATION OF THIS COLLECTION:
925 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604, USA
CONTACT:
203-576-7400, #7
hclibrarian@bridgeportpubliclibrary.org