Posts Tagged ‘Bellevue Hospital Cemetery’

Bellevue Hospital’s old-school wrought iron sign

October 31, 2022

When I walk past Bellevue Hospital on First Avenue and 26th Street, I see the Bellevue at the dawn of the 19th century—when the fledgling city began quarantining yellow fever patients on former farmland called Belle Vue far away from the city center along the East River.

I imagine open space, grass and trees, and a bucolic environment to help the sick heal in an era with very little understanding of how diseases spread. I also think of the patients who died and were buried in Bellevue’s former cemetery, located at today’s Madison Square Park.

These wrought-iron gates certainly weren’t part of the hospital grounds back then. I don’t know how old they are, but there’s something very old-school about them, with what look like hand-stenciled cutouts spelling the hospital’s name. Every time I pass them, I think of Bellevue’s ghosts.