1958: Citizens envision community hospital

Going over tract of Onondaga County Sanatorium land as the probable site for the new Community Hospital, May 4, 1958.

Going over tract of Onondaga County Sanatorium land as the probable site for the new Community Hospital, May 4, 1958. Published in the Syracuse Newspapers. From the Onondaga Historical Association.

The well-worn adage – never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world – may remind us that this small group of citizens got together in 1958 with the idea of building a new hospital to serve the neighborhoods on the west side of Syracuse. This small group  may not have “changed the world,” but they certainly changed the face of healthcare in our region when they envisioned  a community hospital where most saw only overgrown fields.

Thanks to the Onondaga Historical Association and the Syracuse Newspapers, we know that this group, pictured in the field where Upstate’s community campus hospital now stands, included (from left to right): Harry King, architect; Dr. Albert Snoke, consultant; George Cooper and David Jasper, building committee members; and Thad Collum and Carl Maar, hospital fundraisers.

Upstate's community campus hospital, 2013.

Upstate’s community campus hospital, 2013.

By the time the hospital,  then known as Community-General  Hospital, opened several years later, this “small group” had grown to include 48,000+ individuals, foundations and corporations who donated a total of $7.2 million to build the hospital, which is located at 4900 Broad Rd. on Onondaga Hill.

Do you have old photos or memories related to the planning or building of the hospitals of Upstate Medical University? If you do, please contact the hospital anniversary committee through Susan Keeter, keeters@upstate.edu

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, Cancer Care and Upstate Health magazines. Reach her by email at keeters@upstate.edu or by phone at 315-464-4834.
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