48. Murray Hill Campus

Murray Hill is located off NYS Route 36, via Grove Street, on the northern edge of the village of Mt. Morris.

Once terrestrial land of the Seneca Indians, it is officially known as the Livingston County Campus at Mount Morris.

The Mt. Morris Tract was purchased in 1807 by four couples –John R. Murray and his wife Harriet, his sister Susan Ogden and her husband William, and John Trumbull, the preeminent artist of the Revolution, and his wife Sarah, all of New York City, along with Mr. and Mrs. James Wadsworth of Geneseo. 

In 1837, the land was subdivided and John R. Murray, Jr and his wife Anna Olyphant built a home on a choice parcel of his father’s acreage, comprising what has since been known as “Murray Hill.” The Murrays lived in a simple but elegant mansion overlooking the Genesee Valley and Genesee River gorge. The couple entertained distinguished guests and gave generously to the community for the next 25 years.

In 1882, while under the ownership of Col. Charles Shepard and wife, a fire completely destroyed the Murray mansion. A far less magnificent home was built but with extensive barns and stables for thoroughbred horses and other livestock.

By 1930, New York State was seeking a site in this area for one of three new tuberculosis sanatoriums to be built to help control the epidemic that caused thousands of deaths across the state.

The Murray Hill site was chosen as the ideal spot for this facility due to many factors, including its central location, restorative nature of the surroundings, and easy accessibility to rail lines. The campus was built in a circular arrangement around a central, beautifully landscaped green space.

Construction of the main hospital (Building 1) was completed and opened in 1936. A separate children’s ward (Building 2) opened the following year. The complex also included residences for staff (Building 4), physicians (Building 7), the Superintendent/Head Doctor (Building 5), nurse’s dormitory (Building 3), power plant and laundry (Building 6), greenhouse (no longer standing, located between Building 2 and 6) and an existing home converted for the groundskeeper's residence (Building 8).

Over the course of the next 35 years, the TB hospital was a major employer and served patients who often spent years recuperating. Post-WW II advances in antibiotics impacted the spread of tuberculosis and eventually resulted in the closing of the hospital by the state in 1971.

Livingston County acquired the campus and bordering parklands in 1972. The adjacent Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (Building 11) was built in 2005, to replace the outdated hospital. The original campus now houses various county departments and agencies, including Livingston Arts where visitors can view dozens of Depression-era paintings that once graced the walls of the tuberculosis hospital. 

View Murray Hill photo album, County HIstorian's webpage.