National Register photograph by Yen Tang
When it opened in 1892, Grady Hospital represented the most advanced
principles and philosophies of medicine and hospital architecture.
The city-owned and operated hospital was named for Henry W. Grady,
a prominent Atlanta newspaper editor and proponent of the "New South."
He and other leaders of Atlanta wanted a facility that would be
free from all sectarian and denominational influences. When Grady
Hospital opened, it welcomed rich, poor, black and white. The hospital
was originally a connected series of Romanesque style buildings,
but now only the three-story main building survives. The wards,
outbuildings and one-eighth mile of connecting corridors were demolished
in 1959 to make way for a parking lot.
The entrance has a large rounded
arch with a carved keystone
Courtesy of Atlanta Urban Design Commission
The brick main building rests on a basement of solid granite. Facing
west, the main facade has a one-story portico flanked by a set of
paired windows and set of tiered windows. The large round arch of
the entry portico is detailed with an egg-and-dart molding and carved
keystone. An ornate frieze with the name of the hospital runs around
the three sides of the portico and is topped by a concrete balustrade.
Above the portico are recessed center windows on the second and
third floors. Granite brackets above the second floor bring the
third-floor balcony of open brickwork flush with the facade. On
the north side of the building is the tower with an enclosed fourth
level housing an emergency water tank. Its fifth level is open and
originally housed the emergency bell. The bell was replaced by chimes
The interior of the first floor features a wide hall dividing the
first floor from side to side and another hall crossing the building
north to south, separating the main entry from the rear of the building.
The second floor was designed for 10 private rooms for paying patients.
Although the hospital was provided with steam heat from its own
plant, six of these rooms had working fireplaces. The rooms were
built with rounded corners in the belief that it was more sanitary.
The nurse and staff quarters were located on the third floor. In
1903, a new operating room was attached to the northeast corner
of the main building. Ten years later, a new six-story hospital
building was connected to the main building through the small emergency
room wing. Except for these two major changes, the exterior of the
main building remains intact.
The main building of Grady Hospital is located at 36 Butler
St. in Atlanta. It is currently Georgia Hall, the hospital's Human
Resources Department, and is not open to the public.