In the late 1800s, Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan was lined with mansions designed and built for the wealthy. The turn of the century brought retail and office buildings to the area -- and soon, the New York Public Library -- redefining it as a predominantly commercial region of the city. Few of these residences survived the shift, though one still stands at 28 West 40th Street, in between the American Scientific and the Engineer's Club buildings.
|The Wylie House at 28 West 40th Street, with the American Scientific Building on the left, and the Engineers' Club on the right, 1926. Image MCNY|
Dr. Wylie was born in South Carolina in 1849, joined the Confederate Army at age 16, and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1868 with an Engineering degree. In 1871, he received his medical degree from Bellevue Medical College in New York City, and spent the following year in Europe observing hospital construction and nursing instruction. While in Europe, he consulted and collaborated with British Reformist Florence Nightingale. After returning to the States in 1873, he helped form the first nursing school, the Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing, which is now called the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing.
|Bellevue Nurses, 1880s. Image via|
|J. Marion Sims monument in Bryant Park, October 1894. The Croton Reservoir's west wall can be seen in the background.|
In 1882, Dr. Wylie was appointed Visiting Gynecologist at Bellevue, a position he held for 25 years. That same year, he was also appointed Professor of Gynecology at the Polyclinic School of Medicine, lecturing there on gynecology and abdominal surgery for 20 years.
|Bellevue surgeons, with -- I think -- Dr. Wylie front and center with the mustache [early1900s?]. Image via|
|Bellevue Nursing graduating class, 1923. (Note the backwards print). Image via|
|The Wylie House today. Photo: A. Kumer|
-"Relations of Hospitals to Pauperism," W. Gill Wylie. Popular Science Monthly. Volume 9, October 1876.
-Bellevue: a short history of Bellevue Hospital and of the training schools. Alumnae Association of Bellevue, 1915. (link)
-Walker G. Wylie books, available on google books
-Bellevue School of Nursing Archives, housed at NYU.
-Daytonian in Manhattan blog post