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This year marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in 1928—the world's first medical center to combine complete patient care, medical education and research facilities in a single complex. The 20-acre site in Washington Heights was donated by Edward S. Harkness, who was on the Presbyterian Hospital Board of Trustees, and his mother, Mrs. Stephen Harkness. Manhattan was largely built up by the early 1900s, but Mr. Harkness was able to buy the property upon which a stadium for the Highlanders, a professional baseball team that later became the New York Yankees, stood until 1914.

Mr. Harkness worked with Dr. Samuel Lambert, who early in his term as P&S dean (1903-1919) tried to interest Roosevelt Hospital in becoming a medical center partner. Mr. Harkness offered $1 million to effect an affiliation between the medical school and the hospital. When Roosevelt opted not to sign on, Mr. Harkness, a Roosevelt board member, resigned and joined the Presbyterian Hospital board, to which he made an identical offer. Presbyterian quickly agreed in 1911 to join Columbia in creating a new medical center.

Before the center was established, Columbia University's medical buildings and Presbyterian Hospital's patient care buildings were scattered in midtown Manhattan. For example, the College of Physicians & Surgeons was at 59th Street between Ninth and Tenth avenues (now Columbus and Amsterdam) and Presbyterian Hospital was on 70th Street between Madison and Park avenues. The close ties between the university and the hospital has resulted in many important achievements, some of which are highlighted here.

CPMC will continue to grow. Audubon III, the Irving Cancer Research Building, is scheduled to open in January 2004 followed by Audubon IV for biotechnology research. Over the next decade, the university and NYPH plan to build an ambulatory care center and a research building on the 165th Street parking lot. An elevated plaza may connect the ambulatory care center and research building with Riverside Park, providing access to the river. Future plans may include construction of a series of esplanades. For more information see the Health Sciences Strategic Plan at

Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center is dedicated on Oct. 12 in Washington Heights on a site donated by Edward S. Harkness. The Vanderbilt Clinic and Sloane Hospital for Women join the center. Center. Groundbreaking for the Columbia- Presbyterian Medical Center, Jan. 31.

Bard Hall, first P&S dormitory, opens.

Neurological Institute of New York (above), Babies Hospital, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute open new buildings at CPMC.
Harkness Institute of Ophthalmology opens.

Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing becomes Department of Nursing of Columbia University.
Dr. Virginia Apgar, professor of anesthesiology, P&S '33, publishes her 10-point score for assessing the condition of newborns, now called the Apgar Score.
School of Nursing awards country's first master's degree in a clinical nursing specialty.
P&S faculty members Dr. André F. Cournand and Dr. Dickinson W. Richards, P&S'23, along with German scientist Dr. Werner Forssmann, receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on cardiac catheterization.
Black Building opens.


Opening of the Hammer Health Sciences Center, housing the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, classrooms, and laboratories.
P&S surgeons perform first successful heart transplant in a child, June 9.

Milstein Hospital Building of Presbyterian Hospital opens.
Mary Woodard Lasker Building, first Audubon Research Park building, opens.

New York Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital merge to form NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Dec. 31.
The Columbia University School of Public Health is renamed the Mailman School of Public Health after a $33 million gift from the Mailman Foundation, one of the largest donations ever made to a school of public health.
A new New York State Psychiatric Institute building is completed on Riverside Drive.
P&S Professor Dr. Eric Kandel wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the molecular basis of memory.

Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NYPH to open in the fall.

Most of the above information was contributed by Stephen E. Novak, head of Archives and Special Collections at the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library. For more information see the complete timeline at Archives and Special Collections collects, preserves, organizes, and makes available rare and unique materials documenting the history of health sciences in general and of the Columbia University Health Sciences Division in particular. A full listing of the library's collections is available on the library's web page. The department is located on lower level 1 of the library in the Hammer Health Sciences Center.