The Buildings of the Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Alumni Auditorium: The alumni of the Vagleos College of Physicians and Surgeons, who raised much of the funds for its construction from among their ranks. It was dedicated May 1, 1965.
Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library: Augustus C. Long (1904-2001), Chairman and CEO of Texaco and member of the Presbyterian Hospital Board of Trustees, 1955-1975. Long himself did not make the donation: in 1962 an anonymous donor gave a major gift for the construction of the library with the requirement that it be named for Long. The library opened in April 1976.
Bard Hall: Samuel Bard (1742-1821), first Dean of the College of Physician and Surgeons, George Washington’s personal physician, and author of the first American obstetrics textbook. The building is the result of a gift from Edward S. Harkness in response to an appeal by his Yale classmate, P&S Dean William Darrach. Work began in early 1930 and, incredibly, was completed in about 18 months. It was occupied by students in September, 1931.
Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion: Russ Berrie (1933-2002), founder of Russ Berrie & Co., Inc., the toy and gift company, and a noted philanthropist. In 1997, he made a large gift for the construction of the building and to establish the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, named after his mother.
William Black Medical Research Building: William Black (1898-1983), founder and Chairman of the Chock Full O’ Nuts coffee and restaurant company, who donated the bulk of the funds for its construction. Ground was broken in February, 1962. The building was topped out in August 1963 and was dedicated on Sept. 7, 1965.
Julius and Armand Hammer Health Sciences Center: Armand Hammer (1898-1990), P&S 1921, Chairman and CEO of Occidental Petroleum, and his father, Julius (circa 1874-1948), P&S 1902, a founder of the Communist Party USA.
The building that houses the Augustus C. Long Library, the Teaching and Learning Center, several other floors of classrooms and auditoriums, and many laboratories was still unnamed when it officially opened in October, 1976. A gift from Hammer in July 1977 toward the cost of the building’s construction resulted in its present name.
Harkness Pavilion: Stephen V. Harkness (1818-1888), father of Edward S. Harkness (see below) and a multimillionaire due to his shrewd early investments in John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. This former private patient pavilion of Presbyterian Hospital was the gift of his widow, Anna Richardson Harkness.
Edward S. Harkness Institute of Ophthalmology (Eye Institute): Edward S. Harkness (1874-1940), son of Stephen V. Harkness, heir to his father’s vast fortune, and one of the great American philanthropists of the 20th century.
A modest man, Harkness rarely allowed his name to be attached to the many buildings he funded and it’s not known how he was persuaded to let the Institute of Ophthalmology be named for him. Nor is it known why he was interested in ophthalmology. Though he wore eyeglasses, Harkness is not known to have had any serious eye problems.
Ground was broken in July 1931 and the building opened on Jan. 16, 1933. Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler was the first patient. Because the Institute was built during the worst years of the Great Depression, it cost less than estimated and Harkness received a refund of $50,000!
Pauline A. Hartford Chapel: Pauline A. Hartford (d. 1948), the wife of John A. Hartford, President of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. supermarket chain (“the A. & P.”). While she died at home, Mrs. Hartford previously had been a patient at the Medical Center. The John A. Hartford Foundation donated the funds for the chapel in 1950. It opened in June 1952.
Herbert Irving Pavilion & Irving Cancer Research Center: Herbert Irving, co-founder of SYSCO Corporation, the nation’s largest distributor and marketer of food service products. Herbert Irving and his wife, Florence, have been the most generous donors in the Medical Center’s history.
The Herbert Irving Pavilion was built as the doctors’ office building and opened in 1968. It was originally named for Dana Atchley (1892-1982), the legendary Medical Center physician and professor of medicine. It was renamed for Mr. Irving around 2000.
The Irvings also donated the funds needed for the construction of the Irving Cancer Research Center, the third building of the Audubon Biomedical Science & Technology Park. Ground was broken in February, 2001 and the building was dedicated on May 5, 2005.
In 2016, the Columbia University Medical Center was renamed the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in honor of the Irvings' great generosity to Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital,
Kolb Research Building: Lawrence Kolb (1911-2006) who served as both Chairman of the Dept. of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1954-1975. This research building, part of the Psychiatric Institute, opened in 1982.
Mary Woodard Lasker Biomedical Research Building: Mary Woodard Lasker (1900-1994) who, with her husband Albert, established the Lasker Foundation. The Foundation advocates for the support of biomedical research and recognizes excellence in medicine through its renowned Lasker Awards. The Lasker Building, the first to open in the Medical Center’s Audubon Biomedical Science & Technology Park, incorporates part of the historic Audubon Ballroom. The Lasker Building was dedicated on Nov. 2, 1995.
Milstein Hospital Building/Vivian & Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center: The Milsteins, a noted real estate and banking family of New York. Seymour (1920-2001) and his brother, Paul (1922-2010) both served on the Presbyterian Hospital Board of Trustees for many years.
In 1988, the Milstein Family Foundation led by Seymour and Paul Milstein and their sister, Gloria Flanzer, made a major gift toward the construction of the Presbyterian Hospital’s new patient care building, now known as the Milstein Hospital Building. It was the largest single donation received by the hospital up to that time. The Milstein Hospital Building admitted its first patients in December, 1988 and was formally dedicated Nov. 19, 1989.
In April 2006, the Vivian and Seymour Milstein family foundations made a large gift for the construction of a comprehensive, state-of-the-art cardiac care center adjacent to the Milstein Hospital Building. It was the largest gift in New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s history. Ground was broken in June 2006 and the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center was formally dedicated on Jan. 20, 2010.
Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York: The New York-based investment bank that donated more than half the total cost of the building. John J. Mack, NewYork-Presbyterian Board of Trustees Chairman and, at the time, Morgan Stanley CEO, spearheaded the fund raising. The building was dedicated in November, 2003.
What is now known as Children’s Hospital was founded in 1887 as Babies Hospital by five women to provide “medical and surgical aid and nursing for sick babies.” It was originally located at Lexington Avenue and 55th Street and moved to the Medical Center in 1929. It expanded in 1966-1968 with the construction of the Babies Hospital South building.
Herbert Pardes Building of the New York State Psychiatric Institute: Herbert Pardes, Columbia University Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, 1989-1999, and President and CEO of New York–Presbyterian Hospital, 2000-2011. A psychiatrist, Dr. Pardes served as chairman of the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, 1984-1999 and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1984-1989.
The building, completed in 1998, is the Psychiatric Institute’s second home at the Medical Center, the first being what is now the Allan Rosenfield Building of the Mailman School of Public Health.
Presbyterian Hospital: Named by its donor, James Lenox, and its early Trustees for the Presbyterian Church of which they were members. Lenox declared that the hospital was “Presbyterian in its burdens because founded by Presbyterians; undenominational in its benefits because for the reception of patients irrespective of creed, nationality, or color.” On Dec. 31, 1997, Presbyterian merged with New York Hospital to form New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Allan Rosenfield Building: Allan Rosenfield (1933-2008), P&S 1959 and Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health, 1986-2008. A world leader in improving women’s reproductive health and in combating HIV/AIDS, Dr. Rosenfield led the Mailman School from being a department of the medical school to one of the country’s leading schools of public health. Originally the home of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, the School of Public Health occupied the building when PI moved to its new home on Riverside Drive in 1998. The Columbia University Trustees named it for Dr. Rosenfield in 2006.
Sloane Hospital for Women: William D. Sloane (1844-1915) and his wife, Emily Thorn Vanderbilt Sloane (1852-1946), daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt.
After her father’s generous gift to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1884 and his sudden death the following year (see Vanderbilt Clinic below), Emily Sloane and her husband donated additional funds in 1886 for the construction of a maternity hospital on the new P&S campus at West 59th Street. Not only would the hospital provide low-cost care for poor women, it also would allow P&S students to gain practical clinical experience in obstetrics. Besides their initial gift, William and Emily Sloane subsequently donated funds for an endowment and for two major expansions in the early 20th century. They also covered the hospital’s deficits into the 1920s.
As part of the 1921 affiliation agreement between Columbia University and Presbyterian Hospital, control of Sloane passed to the hospital in 1925; the name was retained for the Obstetrics/Gynecology service when Presbyterian moved to the present Medical Center campus in 1928.
Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center: P. Roy Vagelos, a 1954 College of Physicians & Surgeons graduate and former President and CEO of Merck & Co., and his wife, Diana, donated $50 million for the construction of this building dedicated to medical education.
Vanderbilt Clinic: William Henry Vanderbilt (1821-1885), railroad magnate and probably the richest man in America during his lifetime. In 1884, he made a generous gift of land and money to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, enabling the school to construct a new campus on West 59th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.
After Vanderbilt’s unexpected death in 1885, his four sons made an additional gift for the construction of an outpatient clinic on the P&S campus both as a memorial to their father and to allow P&S students to gain clinical experience at a time when few hospitals allowed medical students on their wards.
As part of the 1921 affiliation agreement between Columbia University and Presbyterian Hospital, control of Vanderbilt Clinic passed to the hospital in 1925; the name was retained for the outpatient clinic when Presbyterian moved to the present Medical Center campus in 1928.
Gone But Not Forgotten:
Harkness Memorial Hall: Edward S. Harkness (see Harkness Institute of Ophthalmology above). Funded by his wife, Mary Stillman Harkness, as a memorial to her husband, Harkness Memorial Hall housed hospital nursing staff. Located near Maxwell Hall at the corner of West 165th Street and Fort Washington Avenue, it was demolished during the winter of 1984-85 to allow for the construction of Milstein Hospital Building.
Maxwell Hall: Anna C. Maxwell (1851-1929), first Director of the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing, 1892-1921 (now the Columbia University School of Nursing). Located on a bluff overlooking the Hudson near the corner of West 165th Street and Riverside Drive, this building housed School of Nursing classrooms and offices and provided dormitory space for 300 students. It was razed during the winter of 1984-85 to make way for the Milstein Hospital Building.