Found in the Files: documents on the building of Upstate’s downtown hospital

Mary Lent holds a 50-year-old news clipping showing construction of the hospital at Upstate’s downtown Syracuse campus.

Mary Lent holds a 50-year-old news clipping showing construction of the hospital at Upstate’s downtown Syracuse campus.

Recently, Mary Lent, a 14-year employee of  Upstate’s physical plant department, unearthed a 3-inch-thick folder dating back to the 1960s. Inside she found news articles, hand-colored maps, letters, programs and proposals—all related to the construction of the hospital at 750 East Adams St. in Syracuse.

Plans to construct and name a street after Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, class of 1849, are outlined in a letter dated April 7, 1964, and plans to relocate of the Syracuse Dispensary to the new Upstate Medical Center Hospital are explained in a letter dated May 8, 1964. News articles in the folder include a May 23, 1965 Syracuse Herald-American piece headlined  “Med Center a Big Feather for the Area.”

Lent found a 1963 list of the 30 items buried inside the hospital’s  cornerstone. The contents include a brochure entitled “Research in Progress at the State University, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse,  NY” and an architect’s sketch of the building now known as Clark Tower.

Hand-colored 1960 map of the Upstae campus. The red shows to hospital to be built.

Hand-colored 1960 map of the Upstate campus. The red shows to hospital to be built.

Mary Lent’s discovery is valuable, and timely since 2014 is the 50th anniversary celebration of  both the downtown and community campus hospitals of Upstate Medical University.

The hospital anniversary committee is hoping other historic treasures will be unearthed.

Do you, or someone you know, have memories or artifacts related to the construction of Upstate’s downtown and community campus hospitals? If so, please contact the hospital anniversary committee through Susan Keeter, keeters@upstate.edu, 315-464-4834.

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About susankeeter

Occasional contributor Upstate’s Susan Keeter has written about and painted Upstate’s Dr. Sarah Loguen, one of the first African American women physicians. Keeter created the horse sculpture in front of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and illustrated a children’s book on autism, “Waiting for Benjamin.” She’s written for Physician Practice, Upstate Alumni Journal and Outlook magazines. Reach her by email at keeters@upstate.edu or by phone at 315-464-4834.
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