By some remarkable coincidence, many Mount Sinai Health System buildings have been dedicated or opened in May.
The Beth Israel Hospital opened its first facility in a rented loft in May 1890 and then moved to 196 Broadway the next year. In May of 1892 they moved again, this time to 206 E. Broadway and 195 Division St. Beth Israel remained at this location until the completion of the Jefferson & Cherry Street building in 1902. Beth Israel did not have another May opening until May 15, 1966 when the Linsky Pavilion opened.
Beth Israel’s Jefferson and Cherry Street location
The Linsky Pavilion, which opened in May 1966
On May 17, 1855, a religious service was held to inaugurate the opening of The Jews’ Hospital in the City of New York, which became The Mount Sinai Hospital in 1866. Presiding at the inauguration was Rabbi J.J. Lyons, with Rabbis Leo, Sternberger, Rubin, Cohen, Waterman, Schickler and Tebrich serving as cantors.
The original building of The Mount Sinai Hospital
The second site of the Hospital
When Mount Sinai had outgrown this site, the Trustees decided to move uptown to the block of Lexington Avenue between 66th and 67th Streets. The cornerstone for the new hospital was laid on May 25, 1870 and the completed hospital was opened on May 29, 1872.
The 1904 building along 100th Street
Within 25 years, the Hospital had again filled its site and decided to move to its current home next to Central Park, between 100th and 101st Streets. The Park ensured that the hospital would not again get surrounded by the bustle of the City’s streets. The cornerstone for this new hospital was laid on May 22, 1901. In May 1922, Mount Sinai marked the completion of a massive expansion project that extended the hospital across 100th Street down to 99th Street. This included 1184 5th Avenue, which today is the oldest building on the Mount Sinai campus.
On May 23, 1952, The Mount Sinai Hospital celebrated the dedication of the Klingenstein Pavilion on 5th Avenue.
This was built as Mount Sinai’s Maternity Pavilion, and remains the home of our OB-GYN department. At the same event, the Atran Laboratory and the Henry W. Berg, MD Laboratory buildings were both dedicated as well.
The Klingenstein Pavilion on 5th Avenue
Vice President Ford and Walter Annenberg looking at the portrait of Mrs. Annenberg at the dedication in 1974
And finally, in perhaps Mount Sinai’s biggest dedication, on May 26, 1974, the new Mount Sinai School of Medicine welcomed Vice President Gerald Ford and the Annenberg family to celebrate the formal dedication of the Annenberg Building. When this building opened, it was the thought to be the largest space in this country devoted to medical education.
St. Luke’s Hospital on 5th Avenue
The Mount Sinai Hospital was not alone in its fascination with May for buildings. On May 21, 1857, the St. Luke’s Hospital chapel opened at the Hospital’s first site and a year later (May 13, 1858) the hospital itself opened at 5th Ave between 54th and 55th Streets.
The Woman’s Hospital in the State of New York, which became the Women’s Division of St. Luke’s Hospital in 1952, also had a May dedication tradition. On May 4, 1855 the Woman’s Hospital was opened at 83 Madison Avenue. Almost 50 years later, on May 17, 1904, the cornerstone was laid at a new site at Amsterdam Avenue and 110th Street.
The first home of the Woman’s Hospital
The 1904 west side Woman’s Hospital building
Finally, on May 25, 1965 the Woman’s Hospital opened in a separate building on the St. Luke’s campus on Amsterdam Avenue and 114th Street.
The entry to the Mount Sinai dispensary building where Dr. Welt served as chief of a pediatric clinic. This building on East 67th Street opened in 1890. In 1904 Dr. Welt moved with the clinic to the corner of Madison Avenue and 100th Street.
In honor of International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th, the Mount Sinai Archives wants to highlight a woman who is not remembered today, but who made a big impact on The Mount Sinai Hospital, Sara Welt Kakels, MD. Dr. Welt (1860-1943) was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina. She was one of four sisters, three of whom became physicians and the fourth a chemist. Sara Welt received her medical degree from the University of Zurich in 1885 and moved to New York City shortly thereafter to be with her sister, Dr. Rosa Welt Strauss, an ophthalmologist who also taught at The Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing.
In 1887, Dr. Welt was appointed to replace Mary Putnam Jacobi as one of the four heads of the Pediatrics clinics at the Hospital. She remained in charge of the clinic while she built a private practice in the community. In 1922 Sara Welt was the first woman to be appointed to the rank of Adjunct Pediatrician at Mount Sinai. She stepped down from active service in 1926 but remained closely affiliated with the Pediatrics Department until her death in 1943, at which time she bequeathed nearly $1,000,000 to Mount Sinai to establish the Sara Welt Memorial Fund, which established the Welt Fellowship program for young physicians who needed financial help, and also provided support of the Pediatric Clinic.
Dr. Welt married Moses S. Kakels, MD, a surgeon at the Mount Sinai clinics but primarily affiliated with Lebanon Hospital. Dr. Welt was very involved in teaching. She held appointments at the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary, where she was an Instructor in the Practice of Medicine. She also lectured at The Mount Sinai Training School for Nurses on Anatomy and Physiology. She was an active member of The New York Academy of Medicine, as well as the New York Pathological Society. She had a pioneering interest in pediatric gynecology, and published over 20 articles on this and other topics.
When she died in 1943, the American Jewish Yearbook noted her final benevolence:
WELT-KAKELS, SARA (MRS. MOSES S. KAKELS), pediatrician Mt. Sinai Hosp., New York, N. Y., (d. Dec. 26, 1943), bequeathed to N. Y. Academy of Medicine $100,000 for aid of sick and needy physicians, $10,000 for lectureship by a pediatrician, and $20,000 for books and literature for library; $20,000 to Lebanon Hosp. for fellowship in surgery in honor of her husband; $10,000 to Hampton (Va.) Normal Agricultural Institute for establishment of four scholarships; and residuary estate, valued at $874,222, to Mt. Sinai Hosp., to set up “The Sara Welt Memorial Fund” ” and establish six traveling fellowships; reptd Feb. 6, 1946.
Sara Welt Fellows continued at The Mount Sinai Hospital for decades. Her support of these young doctors allowed her to touch the lives of thousands of patients.
November 18th is World Toilet Day, a phrase that seems strange – and funny! – to the ears. So, first some fun. Below are images of the fancy new bathroom, including a toilet, that Mount Sinai Hospital offered to the well-to-do paying patients in the new Private Pavilion that opened in 1921. It does not look like much today, but it had all the pieces and could be kept ‘sanitary,’ which was an important goal.
Which leads to the unfunny part about World Toilet Day. It exists for a reason. As the website for World Toilet Day notes: “Of the world’s seven billion people, 2.4 billion people do not have improved sanitation. 1 billion people still defecate in the open. Poor sanitation increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children.” (http://www.worldtoiletday.info/about)
Think about it, and go to the website to learn more.
For more on the Archives or the history of Mount Sinai, contact us at email@example.com