Finding a Space for the Medical Department

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Original medical building, 1836.

When the Medical Institution began in 1835, the trustees of Geneva College constructed a new building on South Main Street, between Geneva and Trinity Halls. Dr. Edward Cutbush, the first dean of Geneva Medical College, gave a speech at the laying of the cornerstone.

This building was constructed with the understanding that Geneva College would erect new buildings on what later became the William Smith campus. Once Geneva College moved to these planned buildings, the medical department would expand into Geneva Hall. Ultimately this plan was cancelled due to financial limitations. Deprived of necessary academic space, the medical faculty signed a petition of protest to the board in 1836. They requested funds to erect a new and more suitable building that would meet their needs.

In 1840, the board allocated enough funds to construct a second building down the road from the first that would fullfill the medical department's needs. The funds were raised in part to give the medical faculty adequate space to teach, but also because the board, along with the college faculty and students, preferred having cadavers and other unpleasantries attributed with medical practices moved from the center of campus.

Once the new medical building was completed, the old building was renamed the Middle Building and held the Hobart College library until it burned down in 1885. The second building would host the Geneva Medical College until the school was transferred to Syracuse in 1871. Six years later that building also burned down.

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Geneva Medical College, 1871.

The Establishment of Geneva Medical College
Finding a Space for the Medical Department