Bellevue Hospital Ambulance-1895-Vintage Photograph-NY-Byron Collection-MCNY-NYTimes StoreHorse-drawn ambulance at Bellevue Hospital in 1895. Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

As many of you know, the first patient with Ebola in New York City is now quarantined at Bellevue Hospital on the east side of Manhattan. We thought we would look at vintage images of the fascinating complex, which has been around since 1736. Appropriately, it was actually founded as a quarantine hospital and is the oldest public hospital in the United States.

It was originally located further downtown at City Hall, with just six beds. But as the city expanded, it was thus too close to the settled part of the city. With the grid system coming into play, Belle Vue farm was purchased along the East River for the new hospital. When this map was submitted in 1811, Belle Vue had just been purchased but the new building was noted on the map, #60 on the bottom of the map, along the East River. Bellevue served patients regardless of pay, hence its reference as an alms hospital.

Commissioner's Plan 1811-Map-NYC-Library of Congress-009

Bellevue Hospital-NYC-Alms house Hospital1852 print, image via NYPL

Bellevue Hospital-NYC-1906-Vintage Photograph-2Bellevue Hospital complex in 1906. Image via NYPL.

Bellevue Hospital-NYC-1906-Vintage Photograph-Balcony-VerandaIt was believed that the fresh air and country air would be beneficial for patients.. Veranda of Bellevue Hospital in 1899. Image via NYPL.

Interior of Quadrangle-Bellevue Hospital-NYCInterior quadrangle at Bellevue. Image via NYU.

Bellevue Hospital-Horse and Carriage Ambulance-Vintage Photograph-NYC-2Horse and carriage ambulance similar to one used on The Knick. Image via Viries.

Bellevue Hospital-Aerial View-Vintage Photograph-NYCAerial view, including French Gothic-style chapel, built of stone quarried from the East River. It was the first Roman Catholic chapel at Bellevue. Image around 1914 via NYCago

Bellevue Hospital-Vintage Photograph-NYC-2Image source

Bellevue Hospital-NYC-Vintage Photograph-2New buildings side-by-side-with original ones. Wurts Bros. phoot. Image via NYPL.

Bellevue Hospital-NYC-Vintage Photograph-3Photographs were taken of the old buildings in 1938 prior to demolition. Images via NYPL.

Bellevue Hospital-NYC-Vintage Photograph-4Old administration building before demolition. Image via NYPL.

bellevue hospital1931 psychiatric building at Bellevue Hospital.

bellevue hospital gate

Check out how Steven Soderbergh is recreating 19th century hospitals New York City in The Knick and see more from our vintage photos column and 

 Bellevue Hospital, Ebola

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