Barlow Hospital takes a step to building new medical complex

Barlow Respiratory Hospital, which wants to rezone its property to  create  a large residential development between Echo Park and Dodger Stadium,  has applied for permits to begin grading  a corner of its property for a proposed new hospital building.

The city’s Building & Safety Department has yet to approve the permits to begin grading a 3.3-acre portion of its approximately 25-acre campus for a “proposed hospital” and also build  retaining walls” to provide access during construction, according to online records. The Eastsider has contacted the hospital for more details*.    No permits were pulled for work on the rest of the Barlow grounds that hospital officials want to sell off for residential development.

Officials for Barlow,  which opened a century ago as a tuberculosis sanitarium,  say they have no choice but to sell much of the park-like grounds and tear down many of the century-old buildings in order to pay for the construction of a new hospital that meets modern-day earthquake building codes.  As part of that effort, the hospital wants rezone the land to allow for the construction of hundreds of residential units, allowing Barlow to sell the property for more money to pay for the new buildings. Barlow would retain a three-acre piece of land for the new hosptial.

Last July, hospital Chief Executive Officer Margaret Crane  said Barlow had reached an agreement to sell the steep, hillside portion of the hospital grounds west of Stadium Way.  Meanwhile, the hospital continued to review a second proposal to buy the main part of the hospital campus east of Stadium Way, Crane said.  There has been no announcements about the deals since then.

Update:   “There is no approval at this time to start the project,” said Crane in an email.  “We are not going to be doing any grading until approvals are received.”




  1. I’d buy one of those century old buildings and move in. They’re beautiful, and the park would be my backyard!

    • You couldn’t move in without an extremely expensive seismic upgrade first. That’s why Barlow wants to build a new hospital: the old buildings are earthquake damaged. Although the city has been extremely generous in allowing Barlow time to get its act together to repair or rebuild, it could not.
      At this point, I don’t think anybody intends to save those old buildings.

  2. Shouldn’t the protected native tree ordinance be applied here? Of course they’ve been killing off their 100+ year old Coast live oaks for the past 10 years…

  3. It would seem that Barlow is confident of the eventual success of its re-zoning scheme. Why? What does Barlow know that some of the rest of us don’t? If Barlow needs money from developers to be able to afford a new facility, why is it proceeding with work on the site in the absence of the kind of re-zoning developers would insist upon?

    If Barlow can’t afford to re-build on its current site without creating a massive housing development, perhaps Barlow needs to look to another hospital to provide the respiratory services it currently offers.

    • I am suspecting that Barlow needs to do something to meet government-imposed deadlines to start construction. Getting the permit and doing some minor work would probably satisfy that deadline for now.

      I do not like this size of project. Surely there must be alternative ways to finance the government-required reconstruction. I would not want to see the hospital simply close down and refer its patients to some other facility as, frankly, we are headed for a major crisis going forward that no one seems to be paying attention to or planning for, and it means we need to double the number of hospital beds in the region, not cut them back. But again, I emphasize, there simply must be alternatives to such a high density development in order to finance this project.

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