Albany Medical College.. Happy Birthday!

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On January 11, 1830, Dr. Alden March first proposed a medical college and a permanent hospital in Albany. He was then Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Vermont Academy of Medicine. He earned his medical degree at Brown University in 1820 and came to Albany in 1821 and started a small medical school in the former first building of Albany Female Academy. A member of the Albany County Medical Society, he held the office of president in 1832 and 1833.

When Albany Medical College was realized in 1838, it was the fifth in New York State and the nineteenth in the Colonies and U.S. It was preceded in New York by Medical Faculty of King’s College (1767), Medical School of Fairfield Academy (1809), Auburn Medical School (1824), and Medical Institution of Geneva College (1834).

Prominent among the founders were Dr. Alden March, his associate, Dr. James Armsby, Erastus Corning, other leading Albany men, and the City (which granted five years free use of the Albany Lancaster School building) and State Legislature. T. Romeyn Beck was prominent in the selection of the college’s valuable library.

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For almost 100 years, 1838 to 1928, the Medical College was housed in the old Lancaster School Building (designed by Philip Hooker), on the corner of Lancaster and Eagle Streets. In 1928, the College moved to New Scotland Ave, adjacent to Albany Hospital.


As far as we can tell, the building on Eagle was demolished in the early 1930s, and nothing was ever built in that area. (Anyone know anything more.. give me a shout.). That swath of Eagle St. was bulldozed for the Empire State Plaza c 1964. And where the College was located are 2 huge heating /cooling air valves for Plaza.

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(Thanks to John McClintock for the excellent history of the College’s founding.)

Copyright 2021 Julie O’Connor

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