Molly Stark Sanatorium was a tuberculosis hospital in northeastern Ohio. Constructed during a time when the prevailing medical treatment for tuberculosis was sunlight, fresh air and rudimentary medicines, the building was constructed with large windows, porticos, balconies and rooftop verandas. The Spanish Revival-styled complex was one of 25 tuberculosis hospitals in the state at the time of its completion in August 1929.
Bedridden patients were sent to the upper floor, and as improvements to their health was noted, they were transferred one floor lower at a time until they reached the first level. The lowest-floor patients, or those with ambulant or semi-ambulant cases, were allowed to roam the grounds.
In 1948, county voters passed a bond issue towards the expansion of Molly Stark Sanatorium. The expanded east and west wings were dedicated in October 1952.
By the 1950’s, advances in antibiotics allowed for the treatment of tuberculosis and the need for Molly Stark to operate purely as a tuberculosis hospital waned. In 1956, the name changed to Molly Stark Hospital and it began admitting non-tuberculosis patients. The last remaining tuberculosis patients were transferred to the adjacent Nist nursing home in 1970.
Discussions on Molly Stark’s future were held in July 1975 after a wave of staff resignations and a growing deficit. The hospital continued to operate until 1995, when it was closed due to declining patient numbers and an aging facility.
Despite calls for the building to be rehabilitated into another use, asbestos remediation costs have derailed any proposals. In 2009, the grounds surrounding the hospital were cleaned and turned into a public park.