Photo gallery: A sentimental look back at the start of the Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition

Photo gallery: A sentimental look back at the start of the Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition

Explore highlights of designs past from the Veterinary Economics archive, including the first hospital design article series and the initial call for entries in the Hospital Design Competition.
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May 22, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

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This Veterinary Economics article from December of 1960 was the first time the magazine published a series of articles about veterinary hospital design. In this series Dr. James H. Rosenberger discussed the step-by-step progress of his new veterinary hospital. In the first installment, pictured below, Dr. Rosenberger revealed how he selected the site for his hospital.

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For the first time in June of 1962, Veterinary Economics featured the topic of veterinary hospital design on its cover. This article profiled a two-doctor, mixed-animal practice in Garrett, Indiana that cost a mere $12,694.90—a small amount even in the 1960s.

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In February of 1963, Veterinary Economics featured a cover story about how a new veterinary hospital was built based on the design tips featured in the magazine's 1960-1961 "History of a hospital" article series.

"At that time, I was involved in the preliminary stages of planning my own hospital," says the author and new hospital's owner, Dr. Richard A. Fish. "I found that not only was Dr. Rosenberger putting into words many of my own thoughts and problems, but he was coming up with solutions as well. Furthermore, he was suggesting new problems which I hadn't even considered (but later found quite real)."

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Then in March of 1965, Veterinary Economics published its first veterinary hospital design special issue, which featured descriptions and floor plans of 12 new hospitals in the United States and Canada.

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In that same special issue, the magazine announced a new competition, the Veterinary Economics Hopsital Design Competition, which would name both an Animal Hospital of the Year and monthy Animal Hospital Design Merit Awards.

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In this April 1965 article, the first Animal Hospital Design Merit Award winner was announced. The 3,150-square-foot Oak Knoll Animal Hospital in Moline, Illinois cost $22,500 for the lot and approximately $23 per square foot for construction (excluding all equipment).

Special features of the hospital included:

  • Three separate systems for heating, ventilating, and cooling the building
  • A separate door for employees that doubles as an emergency entrance
  • Isolation and incinerator rooms only accessible from outside the building