The Sortavala General Hospital was built according to the designs of Magnus Schjerfbeck, Finland's first hospital architect, and patients were able to move into the building at the end of 1901. The previous hospital had been located at the very same spot at the foot of the Kuhavuori hill, but was in use just four years before it burned down. Immediately after the fire Chief Physician G.J. Winter submitted a proposal to the National Board of Health that the burned hospital be replaced with a new, expanded and updated version made of stone. The people of Sortavala were very happy with the result: "The General Hospital of Sortavala in its current form is no doubt the first in Finland as concerns its suitability for purpose and the modernity of its structure while also remaining one of the most beautiful in Finland, particularly as concerns its location. History of the town of Sortavala (1932).
The Sortavala General Hospital was located in a very advantageous and beautiful location in the southern slope of the Kuhavuori hill, where it was shielded from northern winds. "The hospital had a broad view over the town towards the Läppäjärvi lake and, in the opposite direction, over vast stretches of cultivated land and the Airanne lake. In was surrounded by a lush park area with beautiful plants. The green area had been established by Dr Winter, who had a keen interest in gardening. The hospital was particularly well-equipped with the necessary machinery and instruments. Its rooms were full of light painted in merry colours," as described in the Muistojeni Sortavala (Memories of Sortavala) publication (1948) by Tauno Relander (1892-1977), who himself had worked as a physician in the General Hospital.