UW Medicine|Maps & Numbers|Find A Doctor
Career Opportunities|Ways to Give|Online Bill Pay

Medical Services
Physicians & Care Providers
Physicians & Care Providers
Patient & Visitor Information
Classes, Events, & Support Groups
About Northwest Hospital and Medica Center
Abridged History (1960 - present)
Detailed History (1960 - 1990)
Fun Facts from 1960
Tell Us Your Story
I Was Born At Northwest Hospital
Events and Happenings
Giving Opportunities
Main Hospital Number

Toll Free


Patient Financial Services
877-364-6440 (toll free)

Care Management

Community Hotline


Medical Records
206-368-1920 (fax)

Physician Referral Line

Public Relations



Work continued throughout the '50s on the land and building as well, even with constant money worries and the doubts about the tax situation. Trustee Paul Fiorito of N. Fiorito Company donated his firm's services to clear the land (after Dr. Gould tagged his 54 dogwood and three white birch trees) and kept it trim until construction started. In 1954, a driveway was cleared through the site and signs put up, and, in May of 1955, D. B. Johnstone of the Northrup, King & Co., Minneapolis, and Edward Barberis of Charles E. Lilly Co. in Seattle donated 1000 and 125 pounds of flower seeds, respectively, which Harry Givan, the Chris Johnsons, and the Gould family planted.

The board officially retained Perry Johanson of Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson in 1952 and continued to refine the building plans. "Refinement" meant down-scaling, as the board faced the reality that $3.5 million would be nearly impossible to raise. By 1956, they had settled upon a 110-bed, $2 million first phase.

The architects presented three scenarios for the $1 million the board had for the building, each allowing later expansion. The first was a "self-sufficient hospital" that could be converted later to an obstetrics unit when a new general hospital was built. This scheme would cost $938,000 to start with — relatively inexpensive — and it was easy to add to without disturbing patients, but it would result in a sprawling hospital.

The second plan started with a one-story unit to which a two-story addition would be attached at a later date. This would permit easy expansion, but would result in a certain amount of sprawl, too. The price tag for this plan was $1,000,400.

The architects' third plan was a one-story unit that would expand upward to three floors. At $1,059,900, this would be the most expensive initially and, of course, building on top of the original building would cause much disturbance. However, it did result in the "most economical operation" in the long run.

However, all Perry Johanson's plans came to naught in 1957, when one board member, Dr. O. A. Nelson, simply refused to work with his firm. He had, he said, worked under "abominable" conditions in an improperly ventilated operating room at a downtown hospital -an operating room designed by Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson.

Although Mr. Johanson pointed out that the conditions were not a failure of design (the plans did call for air conditioning, but the hospital felt it could not afford the cooling system), apparently Dr. Nelson would not be mollified. He threatened to withdraw his support from the project if Perry Johanson's firm were retained.

Thus, the board voted to rescind its contract with Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson, and began a search for another architectural firm.

Their search led them to Lawrence and Hazen, almost by accident, according to George Hazen, project architect. The building committee of the board - Dr. Ray Howard of the Shoreline School District, Dick Munger of Munger Building Company, Paul Fiorito, Ery Parent of Ery Parent Company (floor-covering contractors), and Dr. Gould — had been talking to a Mr. Sallinen, whose design/ building firm had some experience constructing hospitals. The price was reasonable, but the board was wary of using one person for both design and construction. Normally, the architect represents the owner to the builder; in this situation, who would represent the owner?

"[Sallinen] was working with Harry Nelson, another architect, and Harry came to us and [asked] would we help him out on this?" said Mr. Hazen. "So we all - Lawrence and Hazen, Nelson and his partner Siegenthaler - started planning the hospital, working with Sallinen."

Sallinen eventually dropped out of the picture, and Lawrence and Hazen were retained as lead architects, with Nelson and Siegenthaler as associate architects responsible for engineering.

The State Department of Health reviewed the plans and made some constructive criticisms (some areas were too far apart, necessitating long walks and inviting "cross contamination," for example), but generally liked what they saw. On August 7, 1957, Robert M. Mommsen, architect for the hospital and nursing home section of the State Department of Health, wrote to Lawrence and Hazen: "We would like to commend you and those working with you on this planning for your far-sighted approach to the problem and for the many advanced concepts which are being incorporated. The end result should certainly be a truly remarkable hospital."

<<< previous chapter | next chapter >>>

The Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award
Northwest Hospital Earns The Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award
The Emergency Medicine Excellence Award
Northwest Hospital Earns The Emergency Medicine Excellence Award
eCare lets you see, manage and receive your health information online from clinic visits or hospital stays across the UW Medicine health system. Go to eCare.
Quick Links: Create a Free Patient Web Page

Recognize a Staff Member: DAISY Foundation Award - (for extraordinary nurses) | Cares Award - (for all Northwest Hospital staff)

Be Social:
Tell your friends about us on Facebook Facebook
Find us on Twitter Twitter
Connect to other on Linkedin Linkedin