Former hospital to mark 100 years

SARANAC LAKE – A former hospital that now houses most of North Country Community College’s administrative team is about to turn 100 years old.

Hodson Hall, formerly the Saranac Lake General Hospital, was built in 1913. To mark the building’s 100th birthday, NCCC will host a party from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 11, featuring memorabilia supplied by Historic Saranac Lake and the college’s Radiology Program.

The reception will include cake and ice cream and is open to the public.

“You can come in and walk the halls of Hodson Hall,” NCCC President Steve Tyrell told the Enterprise. “A lot of people will talk about how they had surgery here, they were born here – so some of them are good memories, and some of them are not always the best memories.”

The brick building, located at 23 Santanoni Ave., is perched atop a hill that overlooks the village of Saranac Lake. Before the hospital, this is where ice palaces were built for Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival. The hospital then grew in size over the years to accommodate Saranac Lake’s growing population.

In the 1960s, with the need for tuberculosis care decreasing, community leaders approached the State University of New York in hopes of bringing a college to the Saranac Lake area to maintain jobs. A new hospital was built on the northwest side of the village, and in 1968 NCCC held its first classes at the former hospital.

Two decades later, in 1988, the building was named after the college’s first president, George A. Hodson Jr., who served as president from 1968 to 1976.

Today, in addition to housing administrative offices, the building still contains classrooms.

“The building has been through some additions and changes over time,” Tyrell said. “We’ve reached out to Historic Saranac Lake to help us put some displays together to show its history. … This building has a very cool history for the region, from how it started to how it has transformed over the years.”

Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or