Roswell Park Cancer Institute - Table of Contents

Roswell Park Cancer Institute: Main Hospital
Elm and Carlton Streets,  Buffalo, NY

Opened:
1998 (the fourth RPCI hospital)
Architecture firm: NBBJ, New York City
Name:
Dr. Roswell Park was a professor of surgery at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) was the first institution in the nation dedicated exclusively to cancer research. Founded in 1898 by eminent American surgeon Roswell Park, M.D., it began as the University of Buffalo Pathological Laboratory. With the opening of a hospital in 1913, the Institute strengthened its focus on moving scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside.

In 1974, the Buffalo, New York, facility was 1 of the first 3 institutions to be National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated as a comprehensive cancer center.



Dr. Park  ...  Edward H. Butler Sr.,  founder of The Buffalo Evening News
Photos source: UB Reporter: 110 Years Ago  (online October 2016)


After coming to Buffalo in 1883 to serve as chairman of the University of Buffalo Medical School, Dr. Park began to focus more intently on the mystery of cancer. He realized that well-organized scientific research was rapidly conquering some of the most feared diseases of his time, including cholera, tetanus, diphtheria, and typhoid fever.

As deaths from those diseases fell, cancer started to climb the list as a leading cause of death in the U.S. By the end of the 19th century, it claimed more lives than smallpox, typhoid, and tuberculosis combined. Dr. Park predicted that the number of cancer cases would continue to rise around the world — and he was right.

Park wanted to create an institute dedicated solely to the study of cancer and equipped with modern tools to understand and control it: “The knowledge and skill of the pathologist, the biologist, the chemist, and the physician must be combined…and the surgeons must join actively in the cooperative work in one dedicated setting,” he said.

The following year he rallied the power of the press with the support of Buffalo Evening News Editor Edward H. Butler and other editors around the state. Under pressure in an election year, Gov. Black finally saw the light, approving an act of the New York State Legislature that provided a $10,000 grant for “faculty [and] the equipment and maintenance of a laboratory to be devoted to an investigation into the causes, nature, mortality rate and treatment of cancer.” Named the New York State Pathological Laboratory of the University of Buffalo, the institute was housed in the U.B. Medical School on High Street.

Over the years, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has operated as:
  • The University of Buffalo Pathological Laboratory (1898)
  • The Gratwick Research Laboratory (1900)
  • The State Institute for the Study of Malignant Diseases (1912)
  • Roswell Park Memorial Institute (1946)
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute (1992)
- Excerpts:  Editorial team, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Imagining the World’s First Cancer Center.  February 22, 2016 (online October 2016)



In 1898, Roswell Park Cancer Institute was established by Dr. Roswell Park, who was a professor of surgery at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.

Research started in three rooms in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine but not long thereafter, it outgrew the rooms. Seeing the importance of dedicated cancer research, select Buffalo citizens donated funds to purchase land and construct a new building. The largest contributor was Mrs. William Gratwick, (husband to the William H. Gratwick, the founder of the lumber firm of Gratwick, Smith & Fryer Lumber Co.) who donated $25,000. The Gratwick Research Laboratory of the University at Buffalo was constructed in 1901 and was located on High and Elm Streets in the city.

Dr. Park wrote books, gave lectures, and was the administrator at the cancer research center.

Previous names:
  • State Pathological Laboratory of the University at Buffalo, 1898–1911
  • State Institute for the Study of Malignant Diseases, 1911–1946
  • Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI), 1946–1992
Wikipedia: Roswell Park Cancer Institute (online October 2016)

2016 Photos



Left: Main Hospital  ...  RightScott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center




Detail - Carlton Street Facade




Detail - Carlton Street Facade




Detail - Carlton Street Facade




Carlton Street Facade




Carlton Street Facade




Detail - Carlton Street Facade




Detail - Carlton Street Facade






West elevation





Detail - Carlton Street Facade  ...  At right: Scott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center




Detail - Carlton Street main entrance












Kaminski Park








Center background building (white):  Buffalo General Medical Center, 10 High Street  ... Building at right:
Roswell Park Cancer Institute Main Hospital




Photos and their arrangement 2016 Chuck LaChiusa
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