The historic residential dwelling of Conrad and Catherine Bloch, owners of a thriving shoe business, was built in 1873. In 1923, the home was leased to Dr. Harvey Cook, who transformed the building into the last privately owned hospital in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Harvey Samuel Cook was born in Illinois in 1888. He began his medical education at Valparaiso University and later attended the Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery. Shortly after opening a practice in Illinois, Cook joined WWI as a medic. During his time in the war, he came to understand the need to quickly get anesthetic to wounded victims. From this knowledge, Cook invented the hypodermic syringe, a medical device that drastically changed the world of medicine.
Following the war, Cook established his own laboratory in Chicago to create the syringes. Later, he moved to Valparaiso and opened the Valparaiso Hospital and Sanitarium. Over twenty-five thousand dollars was spent furnishing the hospital with the most up-to-date and modern equipment. The fully functional hospital offered operations and x-rays, in addition to handling emergencies. Because of his failing health, Cook ceased working and the hospital shuttered its doors around 1934.
Today, the Conrad and Catherine Bloch House and Valparaiso Hospital and Sanitarium building remain standing and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.