People afflicted with the “Great White Death” were sent to sanitariums far away from the rest of the population, where it was expected they would eventually succumb to the disease that was one of the nation’s leading causes of death during the first half of the 20th century.
James Noble Adam was the owner of the JN Adam Department store and Buffalo’s mayor when tuberculosis became an acute problem in Erie County. He offered to buy nearly 500 acres of land in far-out Perrysburg if the state and city would build a TB hospital on the Cattaraugus County lot. he J. N. Adam Memorial Hospital in Perrysburg is truly a hidden treasure. JN. Adam decided to build a hospital dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis in 1909.
The campus was designed to allow the fresh air and sun to heal tuberculosis patients using Dr. Rollier’s Method of Heliotherapy. Modeled after southern plantations, the red-brick buildings had ornamental columns and wide verandahs on each floor to provide patients with fresh open air to sleep in.
The buildings consisted of a Administration building, two patient wings and a dining hall rotunda with a stained glass dome taken from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition’s Temple of Music.
The dining room, like the rest of the structure, was built to provide superlative patient care in as majestic an atmosphere as possible. This was necessary to ward off the boredom that accompanied the slow treatment of tuberculosis. The dining room was just one of the rooms built to allow sunshine to cure all. For the enhancement of the dining room Mayor Adam bought and donated to the hospital the beautiful circular dome window from the Temple of Music Auditorium, at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. It was under this dome that President McKinley was shot, while attending the Exposition. This bit of notoriety however, does not detract from the window’s beauty, and it remains today as the most visible part of the extremely attractive dining area. This room has perfect acoustics in addition to perfect lighting.
The campus was listed on the NYS Register of Historic Places in 1985 and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
By 1995, the institutional treatment of such disabilities had ended and the complex was abandoned.
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Info source: buffalospree.com, historycpath.com and wikipedia.org