Institutional History

Started by Caroline Kline Galland through her will, the Kline Galland Home was originally built as a Jewish home for the aged. In 1914, the Kline Galland started with seven residents at its original location in Seward Park. This soon became too small of a location, so the home moved to where it is now in Seward Park.

By 1967, there were so many people on the waiting list, that a new facility needed to be built. To start, the home was meant to serve those in the Jewish community who could not afford care at a major facility, and who did not have family who were able to provide proper care.

The Kline Galland home has morphed into a skilled nursing home, providing care to those in the community who need greater attention on a day-to-day basis.

Caroline Kline Galland

Caroline Kline Galland was a champion of philanthropy in Seattle. Born in Bavaria in 1841, her main goal in Seattle was to serve the poor. Upon her death in 1905, a new “Caroline Kline Galland Home for the Aged” would be resurrected with $1.4 million left in her will dedicated to serving the elderly Jewish community.

Her legacy as a caregiver and philanthropist remains to this day through the services provided at the Kline Galland Home.

The Will

Kline Galland’s will has some very specific rules set out, as to keep the Kline Galland Home a well run, and important institution of Seattle. One rule is that the board must consist of the current president and secretary of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, as well as the president and secretary of the Ladies Benevolent Society, now Jewish Family Services.

The money left in the will was to be set up with the Seattle Trust and Savings Bank, yet operations were meant to be approved by the bank based on recommendations through the board. This led to conflict down the road, but originally ran quite smoothly. By 1914, seven years after Caroline’s death, the Kline Galland Home was set up and running with a total of seven beds.

Transcript and full interview from which the clip below was taken.

Video: How Kline Galland Was Started

The Building

The Kline Galland Home has been consistently expanding ever since it opened. The first building was built in 1914 on the Wildwood Property in Seward Park. This house for 7 soon became too small and by 1930, a new facility with 25 residents was to be built. By 1956, the capacity of the Kline Galland Home increased to 35 residents. In 1967, yet another building was erected, this time for 75 residents.

Another 70 beds were added in 1976, and the Polack Adult Day Center opened in 1980. A 60-bed addition was added in 1993, after a major remodel of the West Building in 1987. By 2001, an entirely new facility had been added: The Summit at First Hill. Today, the Caroline Kline Galland Home serves over 205 residents, while the Summit serves 140 residents.



The Last Will and Testament of Caroline Kline Galland


One-million dollar bequest was established under The Seattle Trust and Savings Bank


Final deeds were signed for the Wildwood Property in Seward Park for $22,500. This first home had a capacity of 7 people.


A new facility, to accommodate 25 residents, was dedicated.


A second wing was constructed; sun porches were enclosed with glass and further remodeling was completed


Resident capacity was increased to 35 residents. Art Farber became Executive Director and changed the philosophy of the Home from custodial care to a broader concept of services; social work, group work, 24-hour professional nursing services, psychiatric consultation, and a panel of doctors was initiated.


Sol Frankel became Executive Director.


Bernie Rakow became Executive Director. $1.1 million was raised under the direction of Sol Esfeld, and a new building was dedicated with a capacity of 75 people. The Board of Directors expanded to 15 members, representing appointees from all local synagogues and temples.


Josh Gortler became Executive Director.


The Caroline Kline Galland Home was incorporated as a nonprofit charitable organization with a new independent governing Board of 27 members elected by members of the community.


$3.6 million was raised, again under the direction of Sol Esfeld, and 70-bed addition was completed.


In cooperation with the City of Seattle on Aging, the Home began the first SPICE program (a federally sponsored nutrition program) to be located in a nursing home. 75 people enjoy a hot Kosher lunch once a week for a nominal cost.


The Polack Adult Day Center, through an endowment program of the Morris Polack Family, was opened three days a week in response to the social needs of the community elderly and the respite needs of their families.


The Kline Galland Center and the Polack Adult Day Center were independently incorporated.


Kosher Meals-on-Wheels was initiated, serving 900 meals monthly.


The Schoenfeld-Gardner Atrium was dedicated.


The West Building was remodeled.


Deed to the Kline Galland Home property was transferred from Key Corp. (formerly Seattle Trust & Savings) to the Home.


Under the leadership of Raymond Galante and Arva Gray, a $15 million Community Capital Campaign was successful.


Through the very generous bequest of David and Jennie Litvin, a state-of-the-art, 60-bed addition with supporting areas was dedicated.


The Summit at First Hill, a senior retirement and assisted living community, was opened.


The SummitCare Program was launched.


The West Wing of the Kline Galland Home was remodeled.

  • Jeff Cohen is appointed Chief Executive Officer.
  • The Kline Galland Center Foundation, with Joshua H. Gortler as President, is created to help secure the financial future of the Caroline Kline Galland Home and evolving health care services.
  • Joshua H. Gortler is named Mentor of the Year by LeadingAge — the over 6,000 member organization that recognizes the driving forces worldwide who are transforming services for the aging.

Short-term Rehabilitation Unit is expanded to 33 beds and moved to the first floor.


Out-patient Rehabilitation Unit is opened.


Second short-term Rehabilitation Unit opens at Home, capacity is expanded to 65 beds making it the largest rehab unit in Washington state.


Hospice is initiated, the first Jewish service of its kind anywhere in the Pacific NW.

  • Included in U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “Best Nursing Homes.”
  • Renovation is completed on the Home’s lobby and nursing stations, air-conditioning is added throughout and resident rooms are updated.
  • Home Health Service is initiated
  • Home care is offered as a service to the community
  • Kosher Meals-on-Wheels now provides over 900 meals monthly in response to the evolving culturally-relevant needs of seniors.
  • In addition to launching Palliative Care, Kline Galland commences Medicare-certified Home Health Agency serving community members throughout King County.
  • Kline Galland consolidates Kline Galland Hospice, Kline Galland Home Health and Kline Galland Home Care under the single umbrella of Kline Galland Community Based Services.
  • 2014 budget is $37 million — supported through private cost of care, Medicare, Medicaid, the Kline Galland Trust and grants from the Kline Galland Center Foundation which is supported through community contributions.
  • The Caroline Kline Galland Home serves 205 residents; average age is 87, the oldest being 101.
  • The Summit at First Hill has 140 residents; average age is 85, the oldest being 105.
  • The Polack Adult Day Center serves 50 older Jewish adults who benefit from social interaction and/or cannot be left alone during the day. The Center helps delay out-of-home placement by providing stimulation, friendship and professional care while allowing needed respite for caregivers.
  • A total staff of 500 is employed.
  • Over 2,000 people are now served each year as the The Kline Galland Center continues evolving services in response to the quality-of-life desires and quality-of-care needs of today’s seniors.
  • Kline Galland celebrates its 100th Anniversary

Hired Simon Amiel to be new Chief Development Officer

  • Took care of more people inside of their homes than in our bricks and mortar facilities.
  • The Kline Galland Organization has over 750 employees
  • Annual budget surpassed 50 million dollars

For an updated timeline, please visit the WSJHS digital museum.

Transcript and full interview from which the clip below was taken.

How The Summit At First Hill Came Into Being