Bellevue Hospital Entranceway, circa 1850
This is the entranceway of the original Bellevue Hospital building which opened in 1816 on the Belle Vue farm. The farm property stretched from 23rd to 29th Streets, from the East River almost to Second Avenue.
This main entrance faced the East River. The curved railing had been removed from Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan and installed on this stairwell. General George Washington took the first oath of office in Federal Hall, against this railing, in 1789. The original railing sported thirteen shooting arrows in the center section (see below) symbolizing the thirteen colonies. The arrows were removed from Bellevue in 1884 and given to the New York Historical Society. This elegant stairwell and the building to which it led were demolished in the 1930s.