University Hospital evolved from a long-standing history of providing primary health care services for generations of families in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Here’s a brief overview of the events that led to the state-of-the-art facility that is today’s University Hospital.
For several years until 1882, the city of Newark - without its own municipal hospital - maintained a total of 10 beds in Saint Michael's Medical Center, Saint Barnabas and the German Hospital (now known as Clara Maass Medical Center) for the care of the indigent, sick and injured. Recognizing a need for better facilities for these individuals, the City Hospital was organized by obtaining the use of the north wing of the Almshouse on the corner of Elizabeth Avenue and Concord Street. With 25 beds, the hospital was opened to the sick on September 4, 1882 and was incorporated on February 23, 1883.
In 1884 the hospital was moved to the former insane asylum building on Fairmont Avenue. By the late 1880's, the hospital had outgrown its second home, which was torn down in phases and replaced by a red brick structure. The hospital was enlarged by the addition of the north wing, a four-story structure with a basement, in 1925.
To cope with the rising demands of the large postwar migrations of individuals to Newark, construction of a new 14-story hospital with 750 beds began in 1954. The city of Newark dedicated the new hospital, The Harrison S. Martland Center, in honor of the prominent pathologist, Dr. Harrison S. Martland, who had served the city for 28 years as a pathologist for the hospital and as an Essex County Medical Examiner. The $13 million hospital, located behind the 20th-century structure and facing Bergen Street, was completed in May 1958. From 1956-1964 total yearly admissions, births and clinic visits almost doubled.
In 1962 the hospital's name was changed back to Newark City Hospital.