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Pan-American Exposition of 1901

The Exposition Hospital

The Exposition Hospital

The Exposition Hospital. This rendering of the Exposition Hospital appeared in the 1901 Iris, yearbook of the University of Buffalo. Source: The Iris. Buffalo, N. Y. : , 1901. Courtesy of the University Archives, University at Buffalo.

The Exposition Hospital, also known as the Emergency Hospital, was built upon the insistence of Dr. Roswell Park following his observation of the need for such a facility at other grand expositions. It was constructed in the Spanish Renaissance style, intended to be both useful and ornamental. Dr. Park served as the Director, Dr. Vertner Kenerson as Deputy Director, and Dr. Alexander Allen as Resident Physician.

Physically, the hospital building was two stories of two wings each. On the first level, there were two wards for men of 7 beds each and a large ward with 12 beds for women. The first level also housed a physician's office, nurse's office, patient dining room, kitchen, waiting room, operating room, sterilizing room, linen press, morgue and lavatory. The second level covered only a portion of the square footage outlined on the first level and offered housing for the resident physician and necessary attendants.

Over the course of the Exposition, some 5400 persons were treated. The building was planned for short term and emergency services with serious cases intended to be transferred on to Buffalo General Hospital where a more comprehensive surgical facility was available. Ironically, physicians not directly affiliated with the hospital elected to utilize the Emergency Hospital's surgical facilities to address President McKinley's mortal wounds.

Exposition Hospital Staff

Medical Staff of the Exposition Hospital. The Exposition Hospital was administered by Dr. Roswell Park and many of those staffing the facility were medical students at the University of Buffalo. Image courtesy of the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection held at the University at Buffalo's Health Sciences Library.

Crowds at the Exposition Hospital

The Exposition Hospital With Crowds Gathered. Crowds gather as the wounded President McKinley is taken to the Exposition Hospital, September 6, 1901. Photo credit: C. D. Arnold. Source: The Illustrated Buffalo Express. Buffalo, N. Y. : The J. N. Matthews Company, 1901.

Hospital Operating Room

The Exposition Hospital Operating Room. Image courtesy of the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection held at the University at Buffalo's Health Sciences Library.

See Summary of Treatment at the Exposition Hospital for a report on cases treated during the Exposition.