Monday, August 18, 2008

Forest Hills/Emerson Hospital - Resolved!

Bromley, 1924 (BPL) Forest Hills street runs vertically through the map, and Glen road is along the top.

Bromley, 1924 (BPL) Forest Hills Hospital at Morton street, including the (then) new brick building directly behind the West Roxbury Courthouse.

The Washingtonian condo complex - Morton street.

Here's a follow-up on the Forest Hills/Emerson Hospital entry I posted here. Newspaper articles in that entry refer to the hospital at Morton street by the Emerson name, but the picture that goes with the entry seems to go along with another Emerson hospital. The top map segment above shows an Emerson Hospital on Forest Hills street in 1924. Dr Emerson, who ran the hospital, also owned three adjacent houses on Glen road. This 1885 map shows the same building owned by Anna W. Weld. There were Welds all over the Forest Hills street area in these years, and a few up South street between Forest Hills and St Thomas church as well.

Scanning down this page, you'll read an entry on Dr Nathaniel Emerson and his hospital.

This leaves us with Forest Hills Hospital, which lived on after the Emerson name moved to Forest Hills street. The second map above shows the hospital complex of three buildings, including the brick structure directly behind the West Roxbury Courthouse. When I toggled between the 1924 map and a current satellite photo of the area (see the Boston Atlas), I realized that the Forest Hills Hospital is still there! Or rather, the building is still there, having evolved through those ineluctable Jamaica Plain forces into a condo complex.

I'm still confused about the Emerson Hospital picture that heads the previous entry on this topic. Is it one of the wood frame buildings on Morton street, or is it the Anna Weld house on Forest Hills street?

A tip o' the hat to Bruce Cook and his parents for straightening me out about the second Emerson Hospital.


  1. Dr. Nathaniel Waldo Emerson married Maria St. Clair Whitney Hall in 1882. She was born around 1844, and lived with Cora Beach Benton for a while around 1864, while attending school in Albion, NY. I put Cora's Civil War letters together in the book "Hard Breathing Days." I've been researching artist/writer/would-be Hollywood film producer "May" W. Emerson ever since. I'd love to locate one of her paintings. By 1910, she was divorced, living in L.A., and claiming to be born in 1865 in that year's census. (She was about 9 years older than Dr. Emerson (1853-1930?), but I doubt she let on about it!)

  2. Along Morton Street across from the Arborway gardens there are three footprints of substantial buildings which used to stand there. They were probably large homes, and possibly personal residences. There is a boot scraper a top one of the granite staircases leading to the footprint of the building
    There is a small Carriagehouse behind the brick building which is now the Washingtonian condos. To the left of that are the remains of the three demolished edifices