Seaview Tuberculosis Hospital, New York
In 1903 the state of New York recognized the poor living conditions for those suffering from tuberculosis and began construction of a sanatorium. Good ventilation and sunshine were known to be the best natural ways to treat the disease, because at the time, there was no cure. Both these factors were considered when choosing the Staten Island location for the hospital.
The hospital was designed by Architect Raymond F. Almirall and constructed in three phases, the first of which began in 1909. It included the construction of eight Mission Revival style patient pavilions, an administration building, staff house, nurse residences, kitchen, dining hall and power station. The four story pavilions were constructed in a fan-like formation to allow for maximum sunlight and ventilation. Four were designated as female wards, four as male wards.
By the 1920's, the sanatorium became overcrowded and required expansion. Open air cottages, a group building, a dining building and additional dormitories were constructed, but by the 1930's, the hospital's patient population soared again and peaked above 2,000.
In 1935, Adolph Mertin designed the children's hospital, a six-story building, constructed on a fairly isolated part of the campus, with wings on each floor, open air porches and curved solariums. This building was the last tuberculosis related building constructed on the campus.
In the 1960's, the tuberculosis sanatoriums closed, but the campus still remains active today, as a rehabilitation center.
Though Seaview Hospital was the largest and most costly facility for treating tuberculosis in the country, it is considered very significant as it was the first hospital to conduct successful clinical trials of the drugs, which finally yielded a cure for tuberculosis.