Old Medical College of Augusta Georgia - The Old Medical College was designed by Irish born architect Charles Blaney Cluskey, one of the nation’s earliest architects. It has a Greek Revival exterior with the exception of a central dome that was innovative for its day.
Old Medical College, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1835 to serve as home to the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), the third-oldest medical college in the Southeast. Old Medical College is of national significance because of its impact on the medical instruction of physicians nationwide in the antebellum period and because its distinguished and well-trained faculty helped found the American Medical Association to regulate medical education standards.
The building stands two-stories tall with a raised and fully excavated basement and has a massed square floor plan.
The front façade has a full-height portico with six fluted Doric columns that support a massive pediment. Built of brick, the building is clad in stucco scored to resemble stone. It contained ample lecture rooms, a museum, a library, and dissecting rooms. Two historic additions include a large solarium built in 1897 at the rear and on the west, the City of Augusta’s medicine dispensary constructed in 1869.
Old Medical College served the school well into the Civil War period and beyond. It reverted to Richmond Academy in 1913 when the medical school moved its base to the Augusta Orphan Asylum building. Richmond Academy held classes in the Old Medical College from 1914 to 1926, after which the building stood vacant for five years.
During the 1930s, it was used by civic and social organizations and housed a USO canteen during World War II. From 1948 until the late 1980s, the Sand Hills Garden Club preserved Old Medical College, and the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs later took it over. The space was used as an activity center for receptions, meetings, and banquets.
The Medical College of Georgia Foundation began renovations to the building in 1988 as a conference and events center. The restored Old Medical College is referred to as the finest expression of the Greek Revival in Georgia.
The Old Medical College of Georgia, a National Historic Landmark,is located within the boundaries of the Augusta Downtown Historic District. The Old Medical College has been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.
One of the nation’s oldest medical schools is being reborn. The last decade for the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine has yielded strategic, phenomenal growth in educational, research and clinical initiatives in diseases affecting every family in Georgia and the U. S.
Growth in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, is validated by unprecedented research funding and clinical activity as well as a re-chiseling of the face of MCG, Georgia’s health sciences university.
These initiatives are reflected in five discovery institutes being launched to enhance collaboration between basic and clinician scientists. The discovery institutes – Brain & Behavior, Cardiovascular, Diabetes & Obesity, Immunologic and Vision Science – will more efficiently advance patient treatment and disease prevention.
The institutes reflect the health needs of Georgians and complement national initiatives to optimize clinical-translational research that yields life-impacting results, such as new diagnostic tools and drug therapies. A sixth Research Discovery Institute will use a similar approach to translate scholarly innovations in medical education.
To accommodate growth, research space has essentially doubled in the last handful of years and existing laboratory facilities are being upgraded. An additional research facility is under study as part of the School of Medicine's plan to better meet the physician needs of our rapidly growing state.
The 2008 freshman medical school class of 190 students – already one of the largest class sizes in the nation – will grow by 60 percent over the next dozen years to a total class size of 1,200.
Expansion will occur at the home campus in Augusta as well as clinical campuses, in southwest Georgia, based at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, and in southeast Georgia, based at St. Joseph's/Candler Health System in Savannah. The plan features development of a new four-year campus in Athens, Ga., in partnership with the University of Georgia. That partnership between two Georgia research universities also will enable expansion of the M.D.-Ph.D. program as well as research initiatives at both universities.
Expanding partnerships with physicians and hospitals throughout Georgia is enabling students to get a variety of excellent clinical experience, from small community practices to tertiary care facilities.
MCG School of Medicine also is leading a statewide initiative to foster expansion of residency training which is necessary to grow more physicians for Georgia. The medical school curriculum is being fine-tuned, with an early, ongoing emphasis on patients and an integrated approach to learning that better reflects how medicine is practiced. The admissions process also is evolving to accommodate student growth.
What started in 1828 in 2 borrowed rooms in Augusta, GA’s old City Hospital has only just begun.
State of the School Address: “The focus for the MCG School of Medicine is and always will be our educational programs, educating young physicians, but we must also continue to invest – in things such as training and recruiting faculty, academic excellence, innovation and discovery – grow and then reinvest to create value and increase our impact.”
Hours of Operation & Fees
It is open for self-guided tours by appointment only, Monday-Friday, 9 am to 12 noon. Call for info. Free of charge.