History of the Kips Bay Building on East 69th Street

In the 1930s the Medical College, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Milbank Memorial Fund, purchased property on East 69th Street that, in turn, was donated to the Department of Health (City of New York). In 1937 the Department of Health built the Kips Bay-Yorkville Health and Teaching Center on the site. The center was operated under contractual agreement between the Department of Health and New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center and housed the offices of the Medical College’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. It was one of several cooperative programs between the city and medical centers to foster and guide an understanding of public health problems.

The benefits to be gained from establishment of the center were stated as follows: “Of primary importance is the maintenance of a well-rounded public health service for the neighborhood communities. The training of various types of professional and technical personnel used by the Department of Health will be facilitated; the education of students of medicine, nursing and dentistry in public health practices will be carried out with better understanding; the conduct of research in public health problems will be greatly stimulated; and the public health outlook in medical practice will be a part of the education of many more physicians. This arrangement will provide an excellent testing-ground for the appreciation of new developments in public health practice.” Read more about the project in an announcement of a luncheon marking the building’s groundbreaking in 1937, including statements from former mayor Fiorello La Guardia and former Commissioner of Health John L. Rice, MD.

In 1968 the property title to the Kips Bay-Yorkville Health and Teaching Center was transferred to the Medical College and the building’s name was later shortened to the Kips Bay Building. It was home to the Department of Public Health and other Medical College departments until 2009. At this time the building was vacated so that it could be replaced by a new Medical College research center to be built in its location.


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