Have you ever looked at a street corner and wondered what was there in the past? Knowing our past is an important part of understanding how things are today. We thank Matt McCauley and the Kirkland Heritage Society for sharing the history of the Kirkland General Hospital on the corner of Kirkland Ave. and 3rd Street in downtown Kirkland. Today, the site is the home of the Heathman Hotel.
Prior to 2007, this location housed a low rise building with retail stores including The Grape Choice (before they moved to their current location looking onto Marina Park).
Dr George Davis came to Kirkland from Cashmere during the summer of 1905 and called on his patients with a horse and buggy. He opened a tiny hospital in a private home in Houghton, but in 1920 Davis opened an office at the NE corner of Lake St and Kirkland Avenue, but through that decade it was clear that Kirkland needed a modern hospital. Dr Davis’ dream became reality in April, 1930 when he opened a new three story hospital on Kirkland Avenue at 3rd St. Contractor Gust Person built the hospital in under 60 days for about $18 thousand. Its first patient was Lake Washington shipyard worker, William Davis (no relation to the doctor) who, while working on the ferry Vashon, had a steel fragment lodge in his jaw after a maul split. Dr Davis was still setting up the facility when William Davis was rushed in, but managed to find his white coat and supplies, remove the fragment and closed the cut with five steel clamps. The hospital was substantially expanded in 1951, but finally closed in March, 1971 replaced by Evergreen Hospital, in Totem Lake. The Kirkland Hospital’s final patient was taken out to Lake-Vue Terrace Nursing Center. Her name was Clara Davis and she was the mother of William Davis, the hospital’s first patient, 40 years earlier. The building was subsequently used for retail space until it was demolished in 2007 and the site is now home to the upscale Heathman Hotel.
Matt McCauley, Kirkland Heritage Society