Dr. John Lee purchased the property at 179 Lake Avenue on November 11, 1897. At the center of the property was a large three story brick Victorian style home on the west side of Lake Avenue, just north of Jones Avenue. The west side of the property housed a two-story carriage house and adjoining stable that accessed Dempsey Place. Lee spent $26,000 to outfit the building as a surgical hospital. The main entrance on the first floor led into the large reception room and then to several private offices. Adjoining the reception room was the first floor library and the operating room. The second floor held additional patient rooms and a second library. The third floor offered beds for twenty-eight patients and private quarters for the resident physicians and staff.
The hospital opened with seven beds, but by December 1898, had increased to twenty-five beds. The building was expanded in 1903, increasing the bed space to fifty-one. This expansion accommodated the increase in patients resulting from Lee’s decision to broaden the hospital’s scope to include obstetrical, maternity, and general medical care.