Lakeside Hospital on Prospect Avenue

Upper Prospect Avenue in the 1890s around Woodstock Place was sparsely settled. It was near the end of the Farwell Avenue car line with the carbarn located where the Oriental Theater now stands at Ivanhoe and Farwell. Because there wasn’t much there it was a good location for hospitals and rest homes. In November 1894, Dr. Horace Manchester Brown opened his new surgical hospital at the northeast corner of Woodstock & Prospect and named it the Manchester Brown hospital. It was a small hospital that looked more like a German hunting lodge than a medical facility but the inside was modern for the time and cost $18,000 to build. What made it unique was the fact that it was the first strictly non-sectarian hospital in the city.


In 1915, Ford Motor Company bought the property across the street and began plans to build a large automobile plant there. Dr. Brown pushed hard against the proposed plant and filed a lawsuit which he didn’t win but the furor led to stricter zoning laws preventing manufacturing from being built that close to a residential district. Shortly after the factory opened Dr. Brown closed the hospital. In a strange twist of fate the factory was taken by the federal government late in 1918 to be used for a medical hospital during the war. Meanwhile in 1919 the old hospital had been bought by the Country Day School for use as a Junior School until it moved to new facilities in Whitefish Bay in 1932. The building sat vacant until it was torn down in 1934 for the proposed Milwaukee Western Fuel Company offices. That building was a modern art-deco building designed by Milwaukee architect Herbert W. Tullgren.

Country Day School

Big thanks to Gary Rebholz for providing a picture from his research on Milwaukee’s German Newspapers and the idea for this article!

Comments (4)

  1. reggiedog

    I want to know where you got the years of that Hospital. Reason being is I have documented proof the Ford building was built in 1915 and opened in 1916. So as you where saying Ford bought the land when they did is NOT true at all.

    Reason is I have been doing the research on the Ford Plant for over a year and a half now so I have all of the documented proof that your wrong even the State Historical Society was wrong until I called Joe on it and they changed it.

    Thanks Reggiedog

  2. Back when I wrote this I had quite a few articles bookmarked from Google News Archive where I probably got the 1916 date but which are now lost when that service was discontinued. Last year I found some original source news articles that gave more accurate information about the Ford plant. So the date in the articles has been updated.

  3. reggiedog

    HI: I want to know where you got the part where you say the Dr. Brown pushed hard to stop Ford and filed a law suit against Ford.
    Well I had that looked up by the Milwaukee County historical sociaty and they couldn’t find anything about Dr. Brown sueing Ford.
    All they found was stuff on the Realiter association sueing Ford or trying to Stop Ford as they had a speicial meeting just about Ford building that Plant and it was passed by them that Ford could Build the Plant on that site.


  4. reggiedog

    Does Gary, Also have any pic’s on the Milwaukee Ford Plant as I’ve been looking for any and all pic’s of the Ford Plant. As I’m looking for any pic’s of the inside or outside of the Milwaukee Ford Plant.


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