Established in 1947 as Los Angeles County-Harbor General Hospital on the site of the Station Hospital at the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation, the facility then consisted of 72 acres of land and a complex of wooden barracks and trailers. This was the second hospital for the management of acute medical problems to be operated by Los Angeles County, and was designed to serve the medically needy of the southern section of the County, covering some 300 square miles.
The continued rapid growth in the local population led to the construction of a new hospital facility completed in 1963. The total building space is one million square feet. The name was changed from Harbor General Hospital to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in 1977 to reflect the ongoing close relationship of the hospital to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is one of the few County hospitals in the country with a strong academic and research base. Despite fiscal constraints occurring at the County, State and Federal levels, Harbor has been able to keep pace and even grow over the recent past in terms of its academic and training base. It has an international reputation for academic excellence and research productivity.