UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
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McKinley Memorial University Hospital / McKinley Health Center

McKinley Memorial University Hospital was officially presented to the University by Senator William B. McKinley in a dedication ceremony on February 13, 1926. [1] Prior to its construction, the Student Hospital was located in the Floriculture Service Building, a 1908 building that was remodeled in 1914 and again in 1917 to serve as a health center. [2]

A theme of the dedication ceremony was the special health needs of students. Dean of Men Thomas Arkle Clark gave a speech entitled "How Local Physicians Can Be of Special Help to the Student", while University Health Officer Dr. J. Howard Beard spoke on "the development of hospital care for students at the University". [3]

The original building, a gift of Senator McKinley, [4] bears a plaque honoring him with the words: [5]

a former student of the university long a resident of this community and a distinguished citizen of illinois who ably served his country and state for many years as a member of congress and as united states senator

Although Senator McKinley lived to dedicate the new building [6] he had donated $205,000 for, [7] he died later that year, on December 7, 1926. [8] The facility cost $425,000 to build [9] and offered 42,700 square feet of space. [10] By 1950 the building had wards and private rooms holding up to 80 student patients, with a special contagious ward holding 47 beds. [11] However, changes in local medical care and the expense of specialized medical equipment were among the factors that led to McKinley's discontinuance of its in-patient hospital program in 1986. An addition was made to the building in 1961 [12] to focus more on outpatient services. [13] This led to two physical buildings side-by-side (but not joined), with the western one retaining the McKinley Hospital name and the western building known simply as the Health Center. [14] It was designed by Smith, Kratz & Associates in conjunction with University Architect Ernest L. Stouffer, with Snyder Construction Co. Inc. handling the general contracting. [15]

In 1967 the University authorized an $8,910 remodeling of the building for the installation of $15,000 worth of new equipment. [16] A two-year renovation started in 1986 provided much-needed upgrades to the building infrastructure and medical services provided by the center. [17]

In 2002, a second two-year $3.8M renovation led by FWAI Architects, Inc of Springfield provided a second round of infrastructure and service upgrades to modernize the facility yet again. [18]




[1] University of Illinois Archives, Building and Statue Dedication Programs: RS 2/0/808
[2] "The University of Illinois - Its History, Legal Status, Objectives, and Functions" - 1934 (from Campus Plan Vfile)
[3] University of Illinois Archives, Building and Statue Dedication Programs: RS 2/0/808
[4] "Some Points of Interest in and about the University of Illinois" - promotional brochure from 1935
[5] Onsite dedication plaque
[6] Onsite dedication plaque
[7] University Buildings Spreadsheet - Vertical File, University Archives
[8] Onsite dedication plaque
[9] Buildings on Urbana Campus in 1944 lists the price as $425,000, while University Buildings Spreadsheet - Vertical File, University Archives lists the price as $232,000
[10] Buildings on Urbana Campus in 1944
[11] Campus Map and Informational Brochure - circa 1950's (lists English Building as Bevier Hall, which places it between 1946 and 1956)
[12] Onsite dedication plaque
[13] Campus O&M Project Sheet < http://www.fs.uiuc.edu/template5.cfm?page=displayproject&projid=47&idlist=29,3,11,130,132>
[14] Campus Map 1973
[15] Onsite dedication plaque
[16] Board of Trustees Proceedings, July 26, 1967
[17] Campus O&M Project Sheet < http://www.fs.uiuc.edu/template5.cfm?page=displayproject&projid=47&idlist=29,3,11,130,132>
[18] Campus O&M Project Sheet < http://www.fs.uiuc.edu/template5.cfm?page=displayproject&projid=47&idlist=29,3,11,130,132>
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