Lane Library

Addition to the College Building in 1890

During the year 1890 the College received two valuable donations of land: (1) two fifty-vara lots from Professor Lane; and (2) a one fifty-vara lot valued at $ 28,000 from Captain James M. McDonald, friend of Dr. Cooper. (A vara is a 32 inch square unit of area.) As a result of these acquisitions, the total College property in 1890 consisted of two-thirds of a block of land on part of which the original College building, completed in 1882, was then standing. [21]

photo of Cooper Medical College, Faculty Room

In 1890, as an extension of the original College building, Dr. Lane erected, entirely at his own expense, another handsome brick and stone structure of equal size and similar architecture. The enlarged College building then covered a lot fronting on Sacramento and Webster Streets, measuring 145 x 100 feet, and leaving nothing to be desired in style and accommodations. [22]

photo of Cooper Medical College with addition of 1890

Cooper Medical College Building with Addition of 1890

The new addition contained on the first floor a large clinical lecture hall; on the second floor a large and handsomely appointed public lecture hall (Lane Hall) and gallery with seats for a thousand persons; on the third floor rooms for physiological and pathological laboratories, and for instruction in the use of the microscope; on the fourth floor a chemical laboratory and a large anatomical amphitheater to seat five hundred students. [23]

The new structure was dedicated at the Commencement exercises held In Lane Hall on 13 November 1890. In an address to the graduates on that occasion, Dr. Lane expressed his pride and confidence in the College he had so generously endowed - and lashed out at baseless rumors (to which we have previously referred) that the money for the College buildings was not his own: [24]

Eight years ago, in 1882, I delivered an address to the graduating students of this College. . . That occasion was a momentous one in the history of the institution since the original building of Cooper Medical College was just completed and was then donated by me for the purposes of medical education. The present time is a no less important one, since it is the occasion of the completion of an addition to the original building which greatly increases the capacity of the former one, and has been constructed at a cost of a greater sum of money. This structure, which, in its space and internal arrangements is equal to any edifice of the kind in the old or new world, has been built by me, wholly, through means earned in my profession; these means have not been derived from bequests, inheritance, or trust from the one whose name the institution bears, or from any one else; I make this public declaration since the contrary has been stated. Any doubt upon this matter will be silenced by a reference to the archives of the Probate Court of San Francisco. . . . [25]

It is a source of great satisfaction to the friends of Cooper Medical College, that since the original building was erected the school has been successful beyond anticipation, the attendance having doubled in numbers. And this is due to the excellent work which has been done by the several professors; they have done their parts with punctuality, industry and faithful earnestness; they have been free from jealously and forgetful of self; in brief, they have done their duty and still intend to do it. This work has been recognized by the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the highest English-speaking authority; this learned body has recently given Cooper Medical College full recognition; an honor shared only by a few medical schools on this continent

The completion of the work which establishes Cooper Medical College on a sure basis has been the chief object of my life; it has been the animating inspiration of twenty-five years of professional labor. . . To Medical Science, which is inseparably linked to all other sciences, and to the Healing Art, the greatest of all arts, this property is now given by me as a perpetual dedication.

Dr. Edward R. Taylor then delivered an address commemorating the unveiling of a bust of Dr. Lane in Lane Hall: [26]

Eight years ago, with appropriate word, there was dedicated to the cause of Medicine the college edifice so well known to us all, and in which has been successfully carried on by Cooper Medical College the work of medical instruction. In fact, so successful has been that work, and so promising the future in connection with it, that the same self-sacrificing hand, which eight years ago reared the original structure, has now made an addition to it of such large proportions as to double its capacity. The college structure proper, as it now stands completed, whether considered from the standpoint of architectural beauty, or from the standpoint of adaptedness to purpose, is not surpassed by any Medical College building in America, and indeed there is perhaps but one which can be said in these respects, to at all equal it.. . .

Now Dr. Lane himself, not content with his former benefactions to the College in the shape of lands and buildings, has, in addition, made a deed of gift to the College of the two fifty vara lots which adjoin the college premises on the east. Thus this corporation, devoted solely to medical instruction, owns, by free gift, a piece of land two hundred and seventy-five feet square, fronting on three important streets, and a college edifice architecturally imposing and beautiful, and possessing every present facility and resource for a complete medical education. . .

The Faculty of Cooper Medical College have, more than others, as was natural, appreciated at their high value the great services rendered to medicine by their head. They have been his worthy and zealous coadjutors for years, and no word of appreciation to him is richer or weightier than theirs. But they have deemed it altogether fitting and appropriate to go beyond mere words, and to set up in this hall a lasting memorial to the friend they love to honor. To that end they have had his bust cut in the purest Carrara marble by an esteemed artist of Munich, and have had the same appropriately mounted upon a colored marble pedestal, and placed within a niche in this lecture hall, where it is to remain forever, the perpetual embodiment of the guardian spirit of this place.

Upon behalf of the Faculty, who have deputed me to perform this kindly office, it gives me one of the greatest pleasures of my life to speak for them on this deeply interesting occasion, and in their name to formally present this truly beautiful work of art to Cooper Medical College with the hope that "Time's effacing finger" may never mar its pristine beauty and purity. The artist seems to have been inspired by his subject, for he has here produced the living, breathing man in his habit as he lives, and with such power and delicacy as to leave nothing further to be desired. Art here joins hands lovingly and rejoicingly with Science and Beneficence, to crown with imperishable laurel this glorious son of Medicine. . .

And as we unveil this marble, and you look for the first time upon the work which Art has so perfectly achieved, there is no one here present but must deeply feel, that marble never served a nobler purpose and never shone with a richer luster; but while contemplating the sculptured form which shall thus be transmitted to future generations, our thought cannot but rise from the perishable stone to the character and life work of the man which may not perish but shall endure for ever more.

The estimated outlay for land and construction of the first phase of the Cooper Medical College building, opened in 1882, was at least $ 100, 000. The cost of the additional structure, dedicated in 1890 at the Commencement exercises just described, was about $ 150,000. The College building, as enlarged by the addition, was more than double its original size and its overall cost exceeded $ 250,000.


Revision of Faculty Bylaws

As we have seen, the Faculty of Cooper Medical College adopted the Bylaws of the Medical College of the Pacific in November 1882 at their first meeting after reorganization under Cooper Medical College. Now, eight years later, in November 1890, President Lane appointed Professors Cushing and Gibbons, Jr., as a committee to prepare a revised set of bylaws for consideration by the Faculty. The following is an abbreviated version of the Bylaws as adopted in February 1891. [27]

Bylaws of Faculty of Cooper Medical College

(Rules for Government of the Faculty as Adopted at the Meeting of 28 February 1891)

I. The Faculty for the transaction of business shall consist of all the active Professors holding chairs in the College. Each shall be entitled to one vote. When vacancies in the Faculty occur, recommendations shall be made to the Board of Directors. No one shall be recommended for a professorship or adjunct professorship without the unanimous consent of the entire Faculty.

No Professor or Adjunct shall be recommended for expulsion without a two-thirds vote of the entire Faculty.

Assistants at the clinics shall be appointed by the Faculty only upon unanimous consent, but may be dismissed by a majority vote.

II. Regular meetings shall be held once each month, and special meetings at the call of the President

III. The following officers and standing committees of the Faculty shall hold office for one year and until their successors are chosen, unless otherwise specified.


A President, Vice-President, Dean, Secretary, and Finance Committee of two members shall be elected at the last meeting in December.


Executive Committee (consisting of the President, Vice-President and Dean, ex-officio)

Clinic Committee (consisting of all those engaged in the college clinics)

Committees Appointed by the President

(of three members each)

Museum Committee; Library Committee; Lane Lectures Committee; Thesis Committee; Special Examination in Arts Committee. The President shall be ex-officio Chairman of the Lane Lectures and Thesis Committees.

IV. Duties of Officers. The President shall preside at all meetings, appoint committees, call extra meetings when desirable, and perform such other duties as usually devolve upon a presiding officer.

The Vice President shall act for the President in his absence.

The Dean is the executive officer of the Faculty, and shall have general management of its affairs under direction of the Faculty.

The Secretary shall keep a record of the meetings of the Faculty, assist the Dean in the performance of his duties, and attend in his absence to such duties as the Faculty may determine.

The Executive Committee shall attend to all business of the Faculty in the intervals between Faculty meetings, and to such matters as may be referred to it by the Faculty.

These Faculty Bylaws of 1891 served until a Plan of Organization of the Medical Department of Leland Stanford Jr. University was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the University on 26 March 1909.

Lane Library