EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 27th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.
HUNTINGTON -- When the new community of Huntington was founded in 1871, one of the first acts by the newly elected City Council was to direct that two schools be erected.
Two sites were chosen. One was in the city's East End, on 1st Avenue between 25th and 26th streets. The other was downtown, on 4th Avenue between 7th and 8th streets. There was some delay regarding the East End school, but a two-story brick school building was built at 720 4th Ave. and deemed ready for use on Nov. 12, 1872.
The 4th Avenue school served students every year for 25 years, until 1897 when the nearby Buffington School was built and the 4th Avenue building was abandoned.
City Council and the Huntington Medical Society long had been working to open a hospital in the growing city, and they immediately recommended that the Board of Education make available the abandoned school as the site for a hospital.
Finally, after much delay, the school board turned the building over to the city and the city in turn leased it to the Huntington Hospital Association, which was organized by some of the city's leading businessmen. The association equipped the building for hospital use and secured an adjoining building as a nurses' home. The new hospital welcomed its first patients in 1902.
The expense of operating the hospital proved to be greater than the income and it was soon in financial difficulties. A women's auxiliary was formed and helped raise money for the hospital. Ultimately the men in the association turned the hospital over to the auxiliary members to run, which they did until 1910, when the Huntington General Hospital was chartered by a group of the city's doctors.
Exactly how long the 4tth Avenue hospital building remained in use is unclear. But the 1917 edition of the Huntington City Directory lists what it calls the "New Huntington General Hospital" at 1619 6th Ave.