The Japanese Hospital at First and Fickett streets is now recognized by the city as a historical-cultural monument. LA Curbed reports the Los Angeles City Council gave the Boyle Heights facility the designation Tuesday.
KPCC writes that for 30 years the Japanese Hospital functioned as a medical facility serving LA’s Japanese American community. It operated during a time when healthcare was not available for many ethnic minorities.
The hospital and its operators were the subject of a 1928 Supreme Court Case that challenged the doctor’s ability to own the facility. This contested a previous law that disallowed people from owning property if they were ineligible for citizenship. The court ruled in favor of the hospital owners and the building opened a year afterwards.
The Southern California Public Radio station reports that the Japanese Hospital also served as a maternity hospital during World War II. It was leased to White Memorial Hospital during this time and returned to the Japanese doctors afterwards. It became a nursing and retirement home later when it was purchased by Keiro Senior Healthcare in 1961.