Bayley Seton Hospital

Bayley Seton Hospital (BSH) was a hospital in Stapleton, Staten Island, New York City. It was a part of the Bayley Seton campus of Richmond University Medical Center but is permanently closed.

Bayley Seton Hospital
Sisters of Charity/Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center
Marine Hospital (NYPL b15279351-104767).tiff
"Respect, Integrity, Compassion, Excellence"
Location75 Vanderbilt Avenue, Staten Island, New York, United States
Care systemPublic (former); Catholic (current)
TypeGeneral and Teaching (Former); Outpatient (Current)
Affiliated universityNew York Medical College
Emergency departmentPreviously Level 1, now closed
ListsHospitals in New York
Other linksHospitals in Staten Island

The campus was established in 1831 as a U.S Marine Hospital, and the current main building was constructed in the 1930s. In 1981, it became a private hospital.


Bayley Seton is located on a 20-acre (81,000 m2), 12-building site in the Clifton and Stapleton areas of the North Shore of the New York City Borough of Staten Island. The complex is bounded by Bay Street to the east, Vanderbilt Avenue to the south, Tompkins Avenue to the west, and residential development to the north.[1] The block, with portions sold off over time, also includes Public School 721, the Richmond Center for Rehab & Specialty Care Center, the New York Foundling Hospital Staten Island, and an unaffiliated geriatric center.


Marine HospitalEdit

Original Seaman's Retreat building

On October 1, 1831, Staten Island's first hospital, the Seaman's Retreat, was opened here by the Marine Hospital Service, to serve retired naval and commercial sailors.[2] Three of these original colonnaded structures remain,[as of?] dating from the 1830s and 1840s. The Marine Hospital Service provided medical treatment to naval personnel.

On May 6, 1857, the neighboring New York Marine Hospital (also the "Quarantine") in Tompkinsville, about 1 mile (1.6 km) north along the shore, was attacked by a local mob, fearful of the mostly immigrant detainees. The next year, on September 1, 1858, a mob again attacked the hospital, burning it down in what became known as the Staten Island Quarantine War.[3][4]

A new quarantine center was created on Swinburne Island (a fill off the South Shore of Staten Island, about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of Fort Wadsworth). In 1874, some of these resources were transferred to the Marine Hospital Service buildings at what is now the Bayley Seton campus. The Seaman's Retreat was also housed there; when it moved around three miles (5 km) northwest in 1883, it became Sailors' Snug Harbor. At that point, the entire complex was operated by the U.S. Marine Hospital Service.[5]

National Institutes of HealthEdit

With this move came a greater need for the study of disease. In 1887, 28-year-old officer Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun established a single-room Laboratory of Hygiene for Bacteriological Investigation on the top floor of the Marine Hospital, where it remained until 1891. The building still stands and is part of Bayley Seton Hospital.[6] In 1902, the United States Congress passed legislation to fund the laboratory and move it to Washington where, as a result of the 1930 Ransdell Act, it became the National Institutes of Health.

Later historyEdit

Facade of the main building constructed in the 1930s, pictured in 2011

In the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt began a campaign to construct and maintain U.S. Public Health Service Hospitals, to serve the military, veterans, and the general public. As part of this process, the current main building of Bayley Seton was constructed. The Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital was built as a five- to seven-story hospital, in a Mayan revival style. Until 1981, it operated inpatient and outpatient services, emergency, surgery, and rehabilitation wards.[7] Military installations at Fort Wadsworth, Fort Hamilton (just across the narrows in Brooklyn), the Staten Island Homeport, Miller Field Air Station, as well as air, naval and Coast Guard installations built during the Second World War assured a large military and veteran population for the hospital.

In 1980, President Ronald Reagan announced plans to close or sell all such hospitals, and despite local protest, Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital was sold to the Sisters of Charity of New York, a Catholic medical and social services system.

Bayley SetonEdit

The Sisters of Charity renamed the hospital Bayley Seton, after New York's Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and her father Richard Bayley, a surgeon and founder of the New York Dispensary[8] and head of the Quarantine Station in Tompkinsville. The renamed hospital expanded its campus buildings to include the Saint Elizabeth Ann outpatient clinics, and turned over part of the campus to the New York Foundling Hospital.

In the 1990s Amethyst House, a women's Drug Abuse Treatment center was opened,[9] as well as an Alcoholism Acute Care Unit on the 3rd floor, a St. Vincent's Nursing School on the fifth floor,[10] social service agencies in other buildings, including the Richmond Center for Rehab & Specialty Care Center, hospital inpatient drug rehab treatment services, services for co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, a comprehensive psychiatric emergency program), and the center for a mental health client dispersed housing and in-community employment program.

Saint Vincent'sEdit

Richmond Center for Rehab & Specialty Care Center

In 2000, Sisters of Charity turned over Bayley Seton (along with their main Staten Island hospital) to Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center, which already included the Sisters' Manhattan and Westchester County hospitals, to create Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers New York.[11] Facing financial difficulties almost immediately, Bayley saw around half its services closed, including its emergency room, pharmacy, surgery, and most medical clinics.[12]

After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, Saint Vincent's spun off or closed almost half its sites, including selling another hospital on Bard Avenue to Bayonne Medical Center, becoming Richmond University Medical Center in 2007. Most psychiatric and addiction services were retained, as were outpatient clinics for geriatrics, patients with HIV infection, military and family health services,[13] and mother and baby care.

At the beginning of 2008, Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers and Richmond University Medical Center negotiated a deal to share Bayley Seton. As of 2007, there were an estimated 1,500 patients who used the Bayley Seton facilities regularly,[14] and as of 2004, the hospital employed approximately 550 staff, just more than half the 990 employed in 2000.[15]

Six smaller buildings were closed, staff consolidated, and a deal was struck whereby at the end of 2008, the Salvation Army would purchase the Bayley campus, demolish the main hospital, and build a recreation center.[citation needed] There was public, political, and press outcry at this plan, especially because Richmond University Medical Center announced it was going to end most operations at Bayley Seton and scale back operations at its main campus.[16]

From 2014 to 2019, the TV series Gotham used the hospital as a setting for interior and exterior scenes set in Arkham Asylum.[17] The Amazon series Hunters also used the campus for filming. Many films have shot on the campus including “The Adjustment Bureau”, “Salt”, “Terrifier 2” and the locally shot comedy “Abnormal Attraction” starring Malcolm McDowell, Bruce Davison, Gilbert Gottfried, and Leslie Easterbrook. [18]

As of 2020, the main hospital building was still in operation at reduced capacity. The Salvation Army had purchased a seven-acre portion of the campus, and intended to redevelop the site into senior housing or a community center, but had yet to raise the funds to do so. Buildings on that portion of the campus were demolished in 2018.[19][20]


  1. ^ New Stapleton Waterfront Development Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement, New York City Economic Development Corporation, September 2006.
  2. ^ Top 100 Historical Events in Staten Island, Richmond County, NY, from the Staten Island Advance.
  3. ^ "Staten Island Arson", The New York Times, September 3, 1858
  4. ^ Mob burned down hospital Untapped Cities
  5. ^ Coming to America:Immigrants & quarantine at the Port of New York, 1758 to 1954 Parts I - IV, Robert Bachand
    Introduction: Two Centuries of Health Promotion, the History of Public Health Service, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 27 January 2005.
    View of the Quarantine Grounds and Buildings, Staten Island, May, 1858, New York Public Library
  6. ^ Short History of the U.S. National Institutes of Health Archived September 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Victoria A. Harden, Ph.D. Historian, National Institutes of Health.
  7. ^ "Clifton Hospital's Former Staff Holds Dinner for 10th Reunion Recalling Times at Public Health". Staten Island Advance. October 20, 1991.
  8. ^ Richard Bayley Biography (1745-1801), Health and Medical biographies.
  9. ^ A Guide to the Assemblywomen Elizabeth A. Connelly Papers, 1974-2002 Archived 2008-06-22 at the Wayback Machine, Archives & Special Collections, College of Staten Island Library, City University of New York.
  10. ^ Residency and Fellowship Graduate Medical Education Programs Archived December 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers.
  11. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (October 3, 1999). "A Conversion At St. Vincents; In Catholic Merger, Serving the Poor Means Courting the Affluent". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-21. So last summer, the hospital, along with Sisters of Charity Healthcare, a hospital on Staten Island, agreed to merge with the Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens. Overnight, the region's largest Catholic health care system was born, with eight hospitals and scores of other services under its wing.
  12. ^ Island hospitals going through period of adjustment. Mergers and restructurings have made delivering health a more challenging task, Staten Island Advance Sunday, April 24, 2005.
  13. ^ US Family Health Plan (USFHP) Archived April 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, United States Department of Defense health care contract with Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers.
  14. ^ see SI Advance article, March 18, 2008, below.
  15. ^ Minutes Archived 2008-04-03 at the Wayback Machine: assessments of power supplied to staff employed at various agencies, June 29, 2004.
  16. ^ "Staten Island University Hospital may try to fill health care gap". Staten Island Advance. March 18, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-30. RUMC's president announced Friday that its adult and pediatric clinics, along with the HIV/ AIDS center at its Bayley Seton campus in Clifton will be closing because the hospital can no longer afford the annual $1 million cost of sustaining them.
  17. ^ "Batman spin-off 'Gotham' is back in action at Staten Island's Bayley Seton Hospital". Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  18. ^ "#fyiSI you asked: And we have the answers -- from Bayley Seton site to status of Goethals pedestrian, bike path". silive. 2020-01-19. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  19. ^ "The Abandoned Seaman's Retreat Hospital on Staten Island". Untapped New York. 2020-01-30. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  20. ^ "Drone Video Captures Abandoned Bayley Seton Hospital on Staten Island from Above". Untapped New York. 2018-08-16. Archived from the original on 2018-08-16. Retrieved 2020-12-14.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°37′20″N 74°04′32″W / 40.62233°N 74.07542°W / 40.62233; -74.07542