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Constructed in 1930 to replace an aging facility, Kansas City's General Hospital Number 2 served the African American population until the city integrated its public hospital system in the late 1950s. When the hospital was first constructed, this facility was regarded as the finest hospital in the United States to be built specifically for African Americans. The hospital won numerous honors and reflected the political power of Black voters and leaders in the era when the Pendergast Machine controlled the city. In its almost three decades of operation, the hospital served as a training ground for Black physicians and also serves as a source of pride and professional employment. At the same time, General Hospital Number 2 was more than a symbol of segregation, as the city failed to provide equal funding and support, leading to a separate and unequal system of health care in Kansas City. After the city integrated its hospitals, this building was home to the Western Missouri Mental Health Center for many years. The building was demolished in 2003 and as of 2022, there is no historical marker.

General Hospital Number 2 in 1950

Building, Sky, Plant, Window

Rodgers, Samuel U., M.D. “Kansas City General Hospital No. 2: A Historical Summary.” Journal of the National Medical Association 54, no. 5 (September 1962). 525-639.

Jason, Roe. "As Good as Money Could Buy, Kansas City's Black Public Hospital" pages 196-215, Wide-Open Town Kansas City in the Pendergast Era, Edited by Diane Mutti Burke, Jason Roe, and John Herron.. Lawrence, KS. University Press of Kansas, 2008.

Wells, Michael. A tale of two hospitals: KCQ investigates the end of Kansas City's segregated hospital system. KCQ: Kansas City Public Library February 25th 2022.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Kansas City Public Library, General Collection (P1), Hospitals--General, Number 6