|224 Alexander St, Rochester, NY|
The Genesee Hospital was founded in 1887 and open from September 19, 1889 to May 21, 2001. It was opened as the Rochester Homeopathic Hospital School of Nursing for residents on the east side of town as an alternative to the City Hospital across town, now known as Rochester General Hospital. The hospital had grown to 385 beds prior to its closing; see Gone, But Not Forgotten.
When ViaHealth announced the closing to "save money", there was a lot of public outcry. However, Mike Warren, Director of Rescue Rochester, that targeted the hospital for 15 years, saw it as an answer to prayer - "the administration's decision to shut down this hospital proves that we serve a God whose word is true and who answers the cry of His people."1
The closing of the hospital caused an extended court battle over the bequest of Jean Frankenstein, who had directed that 40 percent of her residuary estate be distributed to Genesee Hospital "for research relating to and for the treatment of respiratory illnesses - pursuant to the direction of Dr. Alvin Ureles." 2. The funds were first directed to RGH for use by the Parkes Center (for asthma and pulmonary disease) under their RGH license. Subsequently the Parkes Center aligned with Strong Memorial Hospital and asked the court for the money. The court finally ruled that RGH should continue to get the money because Dr. Ureles, who was Frankenstein's physician, submitted an affidavit which apparently stated that Frankenstein was deeply dissatisfied with the care her sister received at Strong Memorial "and that she would not have wanted any of her estate to benefit that particular institution."3.
During the Summer of 2006, Buckingham Properties completed the purchase of the hospital campus with plans to redevelop the area, called Alexander Park. As of August 2012, new corporate headquarters for MVP Health Care have been constructed on the corner of Monroe and Alexander, while new businesses, such as Veritas Wine Bar have moved into vacant buildings across the street. The MVP building also has a large space on the ground floor currently being advertised as a potential restaurant site.
There still remains a large empty lot and ruined section of the original hospital along Alexander Street, however. Hopefully there are plans at work to deal with that as well.
Notes and References
"The History of the Genesee Hospital" from the Rochester General Hospital web site
Dissolution of Genesee Hospital Ordered May 29, 2002 on FindArticles.com
- 1Genesee Hosptial is Closing, Mar28, 2001 on OperationSaveAmerica.org
- 2Monroe County Surrogate's Court honors decedent's donative intent Mar 2007 Daily Record
- 3previous reference