February 6, 2022

The Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled

The Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled, 321 East 42nd Street.
(Tudor City, yet to arrive, up the hill )

Founded in 1863, the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled is the oldest orthopedic hospital in the U.S. Although somewhat shocking today, the name of the hospital was not unusual for its time, describing the kind of patients it treated.

After two earlier bases, the hospital moved in 1912 to 42nd Street between First and Second Avenues. In 1940, it changed its name to the more user-friendly Hospital for Special Surgery. Famous people began to show up.

In 1941, Walter Winchell wrote "Marlene Dietrich thrilling the kids at a Tudor City hospital -- being a Person instead of a Movie Star." Above, Dietrich gets a tour of the hospital from Dr. Philip D. Wilson, its Surgeon In Chief.

Senator John F. Kennedy had several surgeries there to correct a back injury sustained during WWII; it didn't really work, however. Above, he enters accompanied by his wife, with the Church of The Covenant behind them.

In 1955, the Hospital moved to its present site on the East River between 70th and 71st Street. The remaining building was renamed Grand Central Hospital, but didn't last long. In 1963, it was purchased by the Ford Foundation, who replaced with their headquarters, which opened in 1967.


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