by Neil Tandon for the Roosevelt Island Historical Society©
BIRD S. COLER HOSPITAL
Bird S. Coler Hospital is named after New York City's first Comptroller and former Commissioner of Public Welfare. It is not an emergency or general care facility but, like Goldwater Memorial Hospital, offers primarily chronic and rehabilitative care.
In fact, with 775 of its 1,025 beds used for long-term nursing, it is the largest such facility in New York City's public system, serving mostly the elderly and disabled.
The hospital was planned in the 1930s but construction was delayed by World War II until 1949.
(Able-bodied Almshouse inmates were transferred to a Staten Island facility.)
The complex consists of three buildings: two five-story patient wards each
Between 1952 and 1974, Coler Hospital, along with Goldwater Hospital, was one of only three operating island facilities. Coler and Goldwater merged in 1996 to share the same clinical and administrative staff.
The biggest of these events is FDR Day, when island residents run games and athletic events for the physically challenged.
These were two other Metropolitan Hospital buildings which stood on Coler Hospital's current site: the cottage where the Metropolitan's superintendent resided and the Infirmary Nurses Home, which housed hospital nurses before the Draper Hall facility was built.
|Roosevelt Island Historical Walk 2000 by Neil Tandon & Roosevelt Island Historical Society|