2. NoHo was home to the nation’s first all-female hospital

58 Bleecker Street

On May 12, 1857, the nation’s first hospital employing an all-female staff opened in a red brick building at the corner of Crosby and Bleecker Streets. The New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children was founded by the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree, Elizabeth Blackwell, and her sister Emily. Blackwells’ mission for the infirmary was to “allow women to consult doctors of their own sex, free of charge; to provide the growing number of female medical students with the practical experience denied them by established hospitals; and to train nurses.” 

The infirmary offered free medical care to poor women and children and clinical experience and instruction to women training as physicians. The infirmary featured a dispensary, two inpatient wards and a maternity ward, and bedrooms for staff and students. The Blackwell sisters would go on to found their own medical school in 1868, the Woman’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary, which graduated more than 350 female physicians over its thirty-one years in operation. Located at 58 Bleecker Street, the building features a plaque installed in 2018 by Village Preservation establishing the historical significance of the site. In Untapped New York’s On-Demand Video Archive, you can catch a talk with The Doctor’s Blackwell author Janice Nimura. The video archive holds over 150+ recordings of past events and is free to all Untapped New York Insiders.