Weill Cornell Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Weill Cornell Medical Center campus in 2021
Location525 East 68th Street, New York City, NY, U.S.
Coordinates40°45′53″N 73°57′14″W / 40.764690°N 73.953960°W / 40.764690; -73.953960
Care systemNon-profit
Affiliated universityWeill Cornell Medicine
Emergency departmentLevel I Trauma Center[1]
Level II Pediatric Trauma Center
Beds862 in current Upper East Side location[2]
ListsHospitals in U.S.

Weill Cornell Medical Center (/wl/), previously known as New York Hospital[3] or Old New York Hospital or City Hospital, is a research hospital in New York City. It is part of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the teaching hospital for Cornell University.

The hospital was founded in 1771 with a charter from George III. It is the second oldest hospital in New York City and third oldest hospital in the United States. Since 1912, it has been the main teaching hospital for Weill Cornell Medicine, the biomedical research unit and medical school of Cornell University.[4]

Weill Cornell is located on East 68th Street in New York City's Upper East Side. Prior to moving to its Upper East Side location in 1932, it was located on Broadway between Duane Street and Anthony Street (now Worth Street).[5][6][7] In 1998, The New York Hospital merged with Presbyterian Hospital to form New York-Presbyterian Hospital.



Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, c. 1830
1893 illustration of the hospital's West 15th Street facade, near Fifth Avenue
Weill Cornell Medical Center (left) and the Hospital for Special Surgery (right), 2006

The hospital's origin can be traced to the commencement address of Samuel Bard, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh Medical School, professor of medicine, delivered to the first two medical doctors to graduate from King's College, now Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, in 1769, titled “A discourse upon the duties of a physician, with some sentiments on the usefulness and necessity of a public hospital.” New York City leaders later pledged one thousand pounds sterling to the hospital's creation.[8]

Peter Middleton reported on the progress with furthering this idea in another address to King's College on November 3, 1769, stating “the necessity and usefulness of a public infirmary has so warmly and pathetically set forth in a discourse delivered by Dr. Samuel Bard... that his Excellency, Sir Henry Moore immediately set on foot a subscription for that purpose to which himself and most of the gentlemen present liberally contributed.” [9] Soon thereafter, the new Governor of the Colony, John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore through the interposition of Lieutenant Governor Cadwallader Colden started a fund for the establishment of such a hospital.[10]

On June 13, 1771, King George III of Great Britain granted a royal charter to establish "The Society of the New York Hospital in the City of New York in America" and a Board of Governors for the "reception of such patients as require medical treatment, chirurgical management and maniacs."[11] The first regular meeting of the Governors after its organization was held on July 24, 1771, at Fraunces Tavern, the same location where General Washington would bid farewell to his officers on December 4, 1783.[12]

Attending the first meeting were then hospital president John Watts, Philip Livingston, and Gerardus William Beekman.[13] The Governors purchased 5 acres (2.0 ha) in 1771, on elevated ground surrounded at the time on three sides by marshes.[12] The location was several miles from the central part of New York; apparently the expansion of the city and the drainage of the marshes, which harbored malaria, was anticipated.

A building's construction began in 1773 but was destroyed by fire before its completion. The American Revolutionary War delayed the building's reconstruction but a partial structure on Broadway and Duane Street served as a barracks for Hessian and British Army soldiers, as a laboratory for teaching anatomy to medical students, and as a military hospital.[14]

Although initially ignored by the wider community, grave-robbing incidents in the 1780s was met with public outrage when medical students carrying out these acts in order to dissect them for anatomical purposes turned from stealing from the New York African Burial Ground to more closely-located Trinity Churchyard. A raid on the university, attack on the student perpetrators, and riot, known The Doctor's Riot of 1788, followed.[15]

The hospital opened January 3, 1791.[16] It initially was a small, two-storied H-shaped building located along the west side of Broadway between present day Worth and Duane streets, set back from the street frontage about 90 feet to allow for landscaping and expansion.[17] The hospital's first patients were suffering from smallpox, syphilis, and acute bipolar disorder. In 1798, the hospital's governors announced the hospital's priorities as firstly for medical treatment, secondly for surgical treatment, thirdly for psychiatric treatment of the medically ill (then called "maniacs"), and fourthly for post-partum treatment of women.[12]


After some years of experience in treating the mentally ill, the hospital's board of governors decided to construct an additional building designed to specialize in treatment of the mentally ill. After receiving financial assistance from the New York state legislator, the governors erected "a substantial and spacious stone edifice on the grounds of the hospital in the city, within the same enclosure, and but a few rods distant from the original building. It was finished and opened on July 15, 1808. On the same day, 19 patients were moved to it from wards in other buildings and 48 total patients were admitted. The new department was called the Lunatic Asylum.

In June 1821, the hospital opened the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum on Broadway and West 116th Street in Morningside Heights.[18] Due to real estate pressures, the hospital moved to White Plains, New York in 1891,[19] where it eventually became the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, now known as "New York-Presbyterian/Westchester". The Morningside Heights site became part of Columbia University.[19]

New York Hospital in 1893

New York Hospital outgrew its original building by the 1870s and moved to a new building between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and West 15th and 16th Streets, which opened in 1877. The original facility was maintained as a 'house of relief', which moved to Hudson Street in 1884.[5]


In 1912, New York Hospital became affiliated with the Cornell University Medical College.

In 1932, the hospital moved to a new location as a joint facility, the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, now Weill Cornell Medical Center, on York Avenue between East 67th and 68th Streets.

In 1998, New York Hospital merged administratively with Presbyterian Hospital to become NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital (NYP). Despite the clinical alliance, the faculty and instructional functions of the Cornell and Columbia medical school units remain largely distinct and independent. Each hospital in the NewYork–Presbyterian Healthcare System is affiliated with one of the two colleges.

The York Avenue site functions as one of the six NYP campuses.[5]

Komansky Children's Hospital

In 2005, Komansky Children's Hospital was established at Weill Cornell Medical Center through philanthropic giving from American finance executive David Komansky for whom the hospital is named.

Komansky Children's Hospital is a pediatric acute care hospital located within Weill Cornell Medical Center. The hospital has 103 beds[20] and is affiliated with Weill Cornell Medicine and is a member of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The hospital provides comprehensive pediatric specialties and subspecialties to pediatric patients aged 0–20 throughout New York City.

The hospital is certified as a Level II Trauma Center and houses the only pediatric burn unit in the New York City Metropolitan Area.[21] Komansky Children's Hospital is a full-service pediatric hospital within a hospital and has been routinely listed by U.S. News & World Report's as one of the nation's best children's hospitals. It is one of only ten children's hospitals in the nation to be ranked by U.S. News & World Report in all ten clinical specialties.

Notable births, hospitalizations, and deaths




See also


  1. ^ "Trauma Center". Weill Cornell. Archived from the original on 2020-08-01. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  2. ^ "Weill Cornell Medical Center". New York P. Archived from the original on 2020-08-02. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  3. ^ "New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell". Archived from the original on 2020-05-14. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  4. ^ "Historical Timeline". Weill Cornell. Archived from the original on 2020-05-14. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  5. ^ a b c Lerner, Adele A. "New York Hospital" in Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 920. ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2.
  6. ^ "City of New York Extending Northward to Fiftieth St". M. Dripps. Archived from the original on 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  7. ^ "Historical beginnings". Weill Cornell. Archived from the original on 2020-05-14. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  8. ^ "Dr. Bard's Dream". New York Times. May 17, 1971. Archived from the original on 2018-07-23. Retrieved 2014-01-20.
  9. ^ Earle, Pliny (1843). History, Description, and Statistics of the Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane. New York: Egbert, Hovey and King, Printers.
  10. ^ "Old New York Hospital. Its Interesting History Retraced by Dr. D. B. St. John Roosa. Episode Of The Doctors Mob. The Aftermath of a Fourth of July Celebration. Forty Years Ago. Surgery Then and Now". New York Times. February 11, 1900. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-01-20.
  11. ^ Bailey, Harriet (1920). Nursing Mental Diseases. New York: The Macmillan Company. p. 27.
  12. ^ a b c Stone, William L. (1872). History of New York City from the Discovery to the Present Day. New York: Virtue and Yorston. p. 231.
  13. ^ "Old New York Hospital". The New York Times. February 11, 1900.
  14. ^ Kobbe, Gustav (1891). New York and its Environs. Franklin Square, New York: Harper and Brothers. p. 173.
  15. ^ Blakey, M. L. (1998). The New York African Burial Ground Project: An Examination of Enslaved Lives, A Construction of Ancestral Ties. Vol. 7. Transforming Anthropology. pp. 53–58.
  16. ^ Hurd, Henry, ed. (1916). The Institutional Care of the Insane in the United States and Canada. Vol. III. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press. p. 111.
  17. ^ "New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center". Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  18. ^ Earle, Pliny (1843) History, Description, and Statistics of the Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane, New York: Egbert, Hovey and King. p 9.
  19. ^ a b Grob, Gerald N. "Bloomingdale Insane Asylum" in Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2.
  20. ^ "NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital". www.childrenshospitals.org. Archived from the original on 2020-01-30. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  21. ^ "Burn Center | Weill Cornell Medicine". weillcornell.org. Archived from the original on 2020-01-30. Retrieved 2020-01-30.