Knickerbocker Hospital

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Coordinates: 40°48′57″N 73°57′11″W / 40.815825°N 73.953000°W / 40.815825; -73.953000 The Knickerbocker Hospital was a hospital in New York City located at 70 Convent Avenue (prev. Amsterdam Ave.) corner of West 131st Street in Harlem, serving primarily poor and immigrant patients.[1][2] Founded in 1862 as the Manhattan Dispensary, it served as a temporary Civil War tent facility for returning Union Army invalids. In 1885 the New York Times praised its rebirth as the fully equipped Manhattan Hospital, "the only general hospital north of Ninety-ninth street." The hospital assumed the city's largest ambulance district for many decades and became a forerunner in treatments for polio, alcoholism and gynecological care.

Manhattan Hospital was renamed the J. Hood Wright Memorial Hospital starting in 1895, and again renamed in 1913 as the Knickerbocker Hospital, and finally the Arthur C. Logan Memorial Hospital only a few years before closing in 1979.[1][1][2]

The 1914 'Directory of Social and Health Agencies' listed the hospital as such:

Knickerbocker Hospital (incorp. 1862 as the ManHattan Dispensary; Aug. 1895, title changed to J. Hood Wright Memorial; title again changed to present name, June, 1913, opened 1884), Amsterdam Ave. and 131st St. Gives free medical and surgical treatment to the worthy sick poor of New York City. Incurable and contagious diseases and alcoholic, maternity and insane patients not admitted. Emergency cases received at any hour. Capacity, 57 beds. 1,090 cases treated and 1,540 days' treatment given during the past year. Dispensary free to the poor only. Supported by charitable contributions. Visiting days, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.
Ambulance Service for the district from West 76th St. to 145th St. and from St. Nicholas Ave. to North River, including 28th, 32d and 36th Police Precincts.
Officers: Macomb G. Foster, Pres.; William H. Remick, Biv. 1. General Hospitals. 189
Treas.; Grant Squires, Ass't Treas.; Edward D. Jones, Sec.; Lucy M. Moore, Supt., to whom apply at hospital.[2]

The television series The Knick is set in a hospital inspired by the Knickerbocker.[1] The Knickerbocker, similar to the television portrayal, had a standing policy often refusing to treat African-American patients despite the hospital's mission to serve those who could not afford to pay for medical care. In the television series, Clive Owen's character, Dr. John Thackery, is based in part on Dr. William Stewart Halsted.

Dr. Halsted, a well known physician who invented many new surgical instruments and techniques in the early 20th century was, like Thackery, according to the Johns Hopkins Institute, known to be addicted to cocaine and morphine.

The former Knickerbocker Hospital building still stands and is currently the M. Moran Weston seniors' residence.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Knickerbocker Hospital: An inspiration for Cinemax's The Knick". The Bowery Boys. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Miller, Lin (1914). "Directory of Social and Health Agencies of New York City". New York Charities Directory. Columbia University Press. 21: 188. Retrieved August 24, 2014.