The Seaside Nursery and Hospital 

When The Floating Hospital plied New York’s waterways bearing families needing care and relief, its captains had the choice of a few ports of call. Most of these dotted the East River and the Hudson River. However, from the late 1899 to the 1940s, one essential destination for patients with more pressing medical needs brought them clear across the wide and choppy Upper Bay—Statue of Liberty to the right, mighty Atlantic to the left—to East Dorp Beach on Staten Island: The Seaside Nursery and Hospital. Erected in 1881 and dedicated in 1899, our star-shaped, five-winged sister hospital and its environs, which included spacious grounds to picnic on, screened porches to keep biting insects at bay and several hundred feet of sandy beach and shallow water perfect for a child to wade in, was a welcomed respite from the city where sick children could benefit from fresh air, recreation and medical care. Mothers and children were given baths after check-in and their arrival clothes were washed and sanitized before their return trip.

An article in Modern Hospital, published in 1918, marveled at The Hospital’s “advanced care” and modern architecture: “From the operating room, dental room and laboratory to diet kitchen, everything is arranged in a remarkably efficient manner. Here all that nature and science can give are bestowed on the little (patients).”

The military requisitioned the hospital during and just after World War II. It was sold in 1951 and eventually demolished. Today, the spirit of The Seaside Hospital is reflected in the light-filled and spacious rooms of our flagship clinic in Long Island City, an environment that combines the provision of healthcare with relaxation and cheer. The Floating Hospital will always be dedicated to all New Yorkers’ health, well-being and comfort.

This post featured in our monthly newsletter from May/June 2023.

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The Floating Hospital provides high-quality healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, immigration or insurance status, or the ability to pay. By providing unrestricted medical care in tandem with health education and social support to vulnerable New York City families, The Floating Hospital aims to ensure those most in need have the ability to thrive, not just survive.


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