Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nassau Hospital Part I - A K Bedell Estate

The sketch below is taken from a feature article in the Oct. 2, 1898 edition of the Brooklyn Eagle about the Nassau Hospital, Nassau County’s first full service medical facility. The hospital was opened in July 1897 at the home of Abner K. Bedell, a wealthy silver and china import merchant from NYC who spent his summers in Hempstead. Prior to its opening, residents of the townships of Oyster Bay, Hempstead & North Hempstead in need of hospital services would have had to travel all the way to Brooklyn or Long Island City, a considerable distance at the time.

In 1898, the Hospital was instrumental in treating the sick soldiers of nearby Camp Black. By 1900, the hospital relocated to Mineola and became the forerunner of Winthrop University Hospital. The house was located on the north side of Fulton street, near the intersection with Front street, and is testimony to the grandeur of the stately homes that lined Fulton Ave at the turn of the 20th Century.

The expansive porch of this house was emblematic of its use as a summer retreat, and its Mansard roof as the main feature of its architecture was a popular style for many homes of the area (including the "Apostle Houses" of Garden City). A K Bedell died in 1912 and left his million-dollar estate to a daughter and a son, Daniel Bedell, who had once served as a NYC Alderman. At some point after Daniel Bedell died in 1922, the property was sold off and platted (the E. Belcher Hyde map of 1927 still shows the Bedell estate as a contiguous property, so it's fair to assume the earliest date the sale could have taken place was not too much before 1927). The Bedell name survives at the former property in Bedell Ave which runs north-south along the Hempstead-Cathedral Gardens border. In place of the home above was built the current structure, the Lutheran Church of the Epiphany. According to the Nassau County property records, the church was completed in 1931. Below is a recent picture, approximate to the location of the where the above house used to stand.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very cool! My 3x's great-aunt married the Medical Officer of Hempstead (Dr. R. Lount).
So to see an example of a house on Fulton Ave (where they lived), and where he probably worked from time to time, is great! Thanks for the postings!