Remake of Boyle Heights’ “Haunted Hospital” wins historic preservation honor

Hollenbeck Terrace | Jim Guettler

BOYLE HEIGHTS — During the more than 20 years it sat vacant, the former Linda Vista Hospital overlooking Hollenbeck Park was popular with film crews, vandals and ghost hunters who claimed the property was haunted. Now, after an extensive renovation and conversion into senior housing, the same property is being hailed as an exemplary form of historic preservation.

On Thursday, the hospital that opened more than a century ago to serve railway workers will be honored by the Los Angeles Conservancy during the group’s 35th annual Preservation Awards.

The three-year-long renovation by AMCAL Multi-Housing in partnership with the East LA Community Corporation restored and renovated the hospital’s main building and a former nurses dormitory on the same grounds. The complex, now known as Hollenbeck Terrace, has more than 100 apartments for low-income seniors, who have access to a computer room, library, social services and gardens.

In addition to restoring historic finishes, including travertine floors and mahogany paneling, the renovation included building features and appliances that will help reduce energy consumption, according to AMCAL.

The complex was originally known as the Santa Fe Railroad Hospital and served railroad employees after opening more than a century ago. The original buildings were demolished and the new ones built over the decades, including the main hospital building constructed in 1938.  The private railroad hospital eventually became a community facility known as Linda Vista Hospital. The hospital, a city and federal historic landmark, closed  in 1991.

“Hollenbeck Terrace exemplifies how even long-forgotten buildings can be brought back to their former splendor, while adapting to meet the needs of today,” the conservancy said on its website.

Photo Credit: Jim Simmons & Photography KFA Architecture

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