hackensack hospital

Photo of Hackensack University Medical Center in 2016 obtained from:


Hackensack Hospital was dedicated on June 13, 1888 and it was the first hospital in Bergen County history.  The Hospital created a nursing school, which was very well known around 1895.
The third and most prominent Hospital section through the 1960’s was a six story building still part of the hospital today.  According to
George M. Scudder a local historian records that in 1921 State Senator William M. Johnson, who donated the property and paid for the building of the Johnson Public Library in Hackensack, kicked off fund raising for the Hospital building with a $100,000 donation and concluded the fund raising with another $100,000.

            In an article on North on April 30, 2015 about State Senator William M. Johnson, “In his obituary in 1928, The New York Times described the hospital as Johnson's "hobby" and estimated his gifts to it at nearly
$1 million, He also put up $250,000 to build a nurses residence,….”

            The photos that follow reveal a very engaged citizenry in philanthropy from the people who helped build
and maintain the buildings to the nurses and doctors who worked for little or just the reward of helping others.  My family was the beneficiary of such kindness. My father told me of a Dr. Forte, who during the 1920’ and 30’s got paid in vegetables sometimes.  Dr. Forte’s son was Chet Forte of Hackensack, also a College basketball and Monday night football director fame.  The efforts of these people laid the foundation of what you see Hackensack Hospital has become today. 

            Click on the link below to view the photos that are located at Hackensack Hospital in the Anthony & Madelyn Scardino, Jr. Historic Concourse, which show the progress of the Hospital from its beginning in 1888 to the six story building and its addition in 1953.  The Hospital stayed that way I would say through the 1960’s into the 1970’s.  When the expansion really took off, I cannot personally put a date on it.

Written by:
Bob Meli
October 20, 2020