History of the Campuses and Buildings of the University of Rochester
United States Hotel Prince Street Campus Eastman School of Music Medical Center River Campus Mid-Campus South Campus Mt. Hope Campus Graduate, Family and Veteran Housing Central Utilities Other Off-Site Buildings
Medical Center R Wing (9000-9200)

R Wing in 1961 with the 1957 fifth floor expansion..

R Wing in 2010 showing the R Wing Connector and the roof of the R North addition

In February 1945 Mrs. Helen Woodward Rivas, of LeRoy, New York, heiress to the Jell-O fortune, made a generous gift of about $2.3 million to build a psychiatric clinic in the University Medical Center and to establish a trust fund to apply to its operation and maintenance.  The building, known as R Wing, opened in 1948 and was decided on March 31, 1949.

A partial fifth floor was added in 1957 and in 1969 a four-story wing (R North) was added to the building, with additional floors added to this wing in 1990.  A new entry connector was built in 1982 to provide an entrance on the west end of the Medical Center.

1948 "Strong's New 'Wing R' Opens for Study of Emotionally Ill," Rochester Review 27(1):6-7 (October-November 1948)

1950 The First Quarter Century 1925-1950   
Page 10:  Mrs. Helen W. Rivas made a large gift to build a Psychiatric Clinic and establish a trust fund to apply to its operation and maintenance. This fine building is Wing R of the Strong Memorial Hospital and has enjoyed two years of successful operation as of this date.
Page 78:  Psychiatry could not be set up as an independent clinic until the generous gift of Mrs. Helen Woodward Rivas made this possible in 1946.
Page 108:  In February, 1945, Mrs. Helen Woodward Rivas of LeRoy, New York, made a generous gift to build a psychiatric clinic and to establish a trust fund lo apply to its operation and maintenance.
Page 109:  The new psychiatric clinic is called Wing R of the Strong Memorial Hospital. IL was begun in 1946 and was ready for occupancy in September, 1948. It faces Crittenden Boulevard, west of Wing Q of the Strong Memorial Hospital , with which it is connected by means of an eighty-foot corridor flanked by offices and clinic rooms.  There are five floors above the basement floor, with facilities for outpatient service for children and adults, clinic rooms, conference and office rooms, and research laboratories . The western section of the ground floor, and the second and fourth floors remain unfinished. The third floor is the finished hospital floor and has accommodations for 34 patients. The unfinished space on the ground floor is being used temporarily for occupational therapy. In keeping with the general principles of this University Medical Center, Wing R ha been intimately integrated, both in structure and in function with the other departments of the School and Hospital. In the past 18 months, finished and unfinished laboratory space has been loaned and rented to other departments in the School. With the building of Wing R, suggestions were made for improvements and changes in the psychiatric unit in the Municipal Hospital in order that the clinical facilities would complement each other and thus serve the Hospital and the community more effectively. It is anticipated that these plans will be put in operation in the immediate future.

1955 "Mrs. Woodward Dies, Heir to Jell-O Millions," Democrat and Chronicle, October 9, 1955, Page 3B.

1958 "R ia for Research in the Problems of Children," Rochester Review 19(4):4-6 (March 1958)
Facilities of the children's work division are located in previously unoccupied sections of Wing R.  When the wing was opened in 1948, the second and fourth floors and part of the ground floor were left unfinished, to provide for later expansion of the psychiatric division.  These areas were completed last fall, and a new fifth floor was erected.

1965 "Helen W. Rivas, Wing R Donot at Strong, Dies," Democrat and Chronicle, January 4,1965, Page 18.

1965 Helen Constance Woodward Rivas (1899-1965) grave

1967 "Work Starts on Annex to UR 'R' Wing," Democrat and Chronicle, September 14, 1967, Page 5E.

1969 "Mental Health Center To Be Dedicated at UR," Democrat and Chronicle, September 10, 1969, Page 7B.
A $2.3 million Community Mental Health Center in the newly-built Wing R North of the University of Rochester Medical Center, will be dedicated on Sunday and Monday.

1975 To each his farthest star:  The University of Rochester Medical Center -1925-1975, edited by Edward C. Atwater and John Romano.
Page 253:  As a first step in preparation for the new Strong Memorial Hospital, an addition to Wing R, Wing R North, was planned and constructed. These new facilities made possible the transfer of psychiatric inpatients from Y-2 and thereby removed them from what would become a major communicating wing between the old and new hospital. In addition, Wing R North provided an increase of 25 inpatient beds in anticipation of the increase in size of the Medical School classes. Further, as support for the federal government's plan to establish community mental health centers, the basement and ground floors of Wing R North were planned to house this program and thereby more closely bind the needs of the community with the provision of care in the Medical Center.
Pages 295-318:Within Bareheaded Distance:  The Story of Wing R 1945-1975, by John Romano
We were to be called "Wing Q,"

1977 History of the University of Rochester, 1850-1962, by Arthur J. May.  Expanded edition with notes
Chapter 31:  Women, Music and Medicine in Wartime
From the Woodward family of LeRoy, New York, came comparatively modest benefactions, the evidence of larger things to come. For instance, Ernest L. Woodward gave (1939) money to conduct research in epilepsy, and Mrs. Helen Woodward Rivas provided funds to carry on special medical investigations. Then in 1945 she generously turned over about $2,300,000 to erect, equip, furnish, and endow a psychiatric clinic.

1982 "Groundbreaking ceremonies set for SMH psychiatric unit May 3," Currents, April 30, 1982, Page 2.
Includes new entrance connector

2023 Golisano Children’s Hospital Breaks Ground on New Pediatric Urgent Care Center, August 22, 2023

2024 "‘Change is now:’ Mental health care expansion in progress at Golisano Children’s Hospital," RochesterFirst.com January 16, 2024
URMC’s pediatric mental health urgent care is expected to get completed by June.

© 2021 Morris A. Pierce