A History on Harborview Medical Center

For my Seattle Building History report, I chose Harborview Medical Center. The hospital is owned by King County, and was built as a two-story six-bed King County Welfare Hospital in 1877. The hospital first moved to Georgetown by 1906, and had 225 patient beds. The hospital was originally named, “King County Hospital” and was renamed after its second move in 1931. This was when the center wing of the current hospital was completed. I had much difficulty locating a map of the building prior to both moves.

This link shows a map of the present hospital:


This is a postcard, shortly after the hospital was moved in 1931:

In my research, what I found most interesting was “Harborview Hall,” which served as the base for the University of Washington’s Nursing School. It is across from Harborview Medical Center, and opened in the 1930’s. In the late 1940’s, the first African Americans enrolled in the nursing program, and lived in Harborview Hall

Property of Harborview Medical Center Board of Trustees


King County’s website, on December 19, 2016, states that the county is working on preserving Harborview Hall, and to establish the building as “a landmark building in the heart of Seattle’s hospital district.” Unfortunately, I was not able to find any updated information regarding the preservation of Harborview Hall.

Here is a more current photo of Harborview Hall from King County’s website:

-Stephanie H.

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