Woodhull Medical Center has deep roots in the borough of Brooklyn as the inheritor of a tradition of public hospital care that stretches back almost a century.
In 1967, Mayor John Lindsay and Governor Nelson Rockefeller envisioned a 'dream' hospital for North Brooklyn to replace an older, obsolete public hospital located in Greenpoint. The facility was to boast several levels of care, single bedded rooms, and the same amenities for public hospital patients as those enjoyed by private hospital patients.
From its inception, Woodhull emphasized primary patient care and preventive medicine. Patterned after the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Redwood City, California, the hospital was designed by Kallmann & McKinnell, the architects of the competition-winning Boston City Hall. The building has won many architectural prizes.
The hospital's name was the result of an essay contest held in local schools. The winner of the $25.00 prize was Victor Morales, an Intermediate School 318 student and community resident. In his prize-winning essay, Mr. Morales traced the origins of the original landowner of the immediate area, whom he identified as Richard M. Woodhull. Mr. Woodhull was credited with having laid out the Village of Williamsburg into an actual city. In 1970, Mr. Morales turned the first shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The City's financial crisis of the 1970's delayed the opening of the 'dream' hospital until 1982, when it began providing primary care and inpatient services to the community. Since that time, Woodhull has become the provider of choice in North Brooklyn.