Cook County Hospital

Chicago

The original hospital in Chicago, which came to be known as Cook County Hospital, opened in 1847 and the main building was constructed in 1913.  A neoclassical architectural gem, its ornate and iconic colonnaded facade, 550 feet in length, is one of a kind.

The first blood bank in the United States was established there in 1933, and the first designated trauma unit in 1961.  It is known worldwide for its cameo appearance in the TV show ER, but it is most famous for being Chicago's version of Ellis Island, serving generations of immigrants and the poor without regard for their ability to pay. 

In 2004, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the hospital to its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.  The hospital, now abandoned, awaits a decision regarding preservation versus demolition.