Nook version of vintage magazine article originally published in 1900. Contains 15 pages with 7 illustrations.
Lots of great info and illustrations seldom seen in the last 100 years.
It was founded as a church hospital where the sick poor, without distinction of race or creed, might be attended. Dr. William Augustus Muhlenberg, rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, was its founder. The magnificent building which has just been described, the annual cost of whose maintenance will be from $140,000 to $150,000, grew out of the sum of $15, half of the offertory at the Church of the Holy Communion on St. Luke's Day, 1846. Dr. Muhlenberg devoted that sum to be a nucleus for a hospital to be named in honor of "the beloved physician." Before long one of his parishioners contributed $1,000 to the fund. Dr. Muhlenberg, himself most enthusiastic in furthering his plan, incited enthusiasm among his followers. In 1850 the hospital was incorporated. Land at Fifth Avenue and Fifty Fourth Street was secured, and in 1854 the corner stone of St. Luke's was laid. In 1858 the hospital building was really ready for occupancy, and in 1859 Dr. Muhlenberg moved into it, becoming pastor and superintendent, and there he remained until his death in 1877.
It is not too much to say, so those who have followed him believe, that his spirit, animating the institution as it did for so many years, gave permanent direction to its tendencies, and that St. Luke's as it stands today is in an unusually real and intimate sense a monument to him.
Dr. Muhlenberg believed that the hospital should be in every department a practical manifestation of the Christian charity to which appeal was made for its support. It was not enough that doctors, nurses, and medicines were provided for those unable to obtain them for themselves. They must be dispensed in such a way as to give to the hospital's beneficiaries an illustration of Christian courtesy and affection. Patients at St. Luke's, he believed, should be regarded as "guests of the church." As a natural result, the patient was treated neither as free material for scientific experiment nor as an object of institutional charity. The endeavor, both under him and under his successor, the present pastor and superintendent, the Rev. Dr. George S. Baker, has been to secure to the individual patient the same consideration of personal rights that he might expect in his own home.
As a church institution - and St. Luke's insists upon this view of itself with a strenuousness rather pleasing in days when it is popular to be religious by stealth - there are daily services held both in the chapel and in the wards. These are, naturally, according to the ritual of the Episcopal Church, but proselyting has not been a feature of the hospital work.