Fifty Years Ago Today…

…the big news was the construction of KCC, the Klingenstein Clinical Center.  Of course, in December 1959 the building did not have that name.  Heck, there wasn't even a building yet!  There was a massive hole in the ground that was the construction site for the new Clinical Services Building.

KCC construction 12 29 59

But this wasn't just any hole in the ground.  To engineering groupies this was a wonderous thing.  The excavation was 55-feet deep, one of the largest in New York in the previous 20 years.  In digging, the engineers discovered that Madison Ave. and 100th St. were resting on huge boulders, so they had to drill steel caissons into the ground to hold the street up.  As Albert Breig, the clerk-of-the-works, said, "It was the first time in the history of the engineering profession that drilled-in caissons have been used to retain banks of this kind."

Once KCC was fully opened in 1964, it brought The Mount Sinai Hospital to its largest bed complement ever: 1,346 beds, including 1,202 hospital beds, 104 bassinets, and 40 Psychiatry Day & Night Program beds.

(Thanks to Ron Gibbs for donating the excavation photo album to The Archives.)

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are definitely upon us, and a warning for all of you who just can't get enough Levy Library: we have limited hours this week and next. They are:

Monday December 21: 7:45am – 7:50pm
Tuesday December 22: 7:45am – 7:50pm
Wednesday December 23: 7:45am – 7:50pm
Thursday December 24: 7:45am – 5:50pm
Friday December 25: CLOSED
Saturday December 26: 9:00am – 4:50pm

Sunday December 27: 12:00 noon - 7:50pm
Monday December 28: 7:45am – 7:50pm
Tuesday December 29: 7:45am – 7:50pm
Wednesday December 30: 7:45am – 7:50pm
Thursday December 31: 7:45am – 5:50pm
Friday January 1: CLOSED
Saturday January 2: 9:00am – 4:50pm

The good news is that of course you can always access our online resources from the library homepage at And if you are going to be reading the medical literature over the holidays, let me suggest the awfully silly but still genuinely thought-provoking BMJ Christmas issue (complete with a sneaky spoof article this year!).


HEW brochure 1972 


I came across this brochure from the U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare in the files of Kurt Deuschle, MD, the Chairman of the Dept. of Community Medicine here at Mount Sinai from 1968-1990.  It dates to 1972 – hence the groovy look – and was issued by the Bureau of Health Manpower Education to attract young people to health careers at all levels. Inside are lists of jobs broken down by how much education is needed, from high school level to more than four years of college.  Who could resist this siren call:

Health Careers are for people
with young ideas–people
who want to cram their lives
with useful action.

Yeah, baby!