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One of the decisions made in 1961 to make the construction of
the Eisenlohr Mansion's new wing (located at 4200 Pine Street)
affordable was the substitution of wood floors for concrete. This
practical decision would later be reexamined due to a fire that
destroyed a considerable portion of the headquarters' new wing on
February 17, 1966. It was concluded that a defective electric motor
in one of the new air conditioning units caused the fire. The
College was quite lucky despite the level of damage done to the
headquarters. All membership records, proposals for new membership,
postgraduate course registrations and all pre-registration for the
1966 New York Annual Session were intact. Only two Annals
manuscripts, lying on a desk while being edited, were destroyed;
the rest were in a steel filing cabinet and were only scorched
around the edges. While all advertising records were destroyed, the
Addressograph plates in the Circulation Department remained
relatively untouched. Consequently, the April 1966 issue of
Annals of Internal Medicine was mailed to subscribers only
a few days late.
Objects and memorabilia, which are currently on display in ACP's
Boardroom area, also managed to survive this fire intact. The oil
painting of Mr. Edward R. Loveland, the former Executive Secretary
of the College, that hung in the Boardroom was completely covered
with soot, but fortunately was restored to virtually perfect
condition. The College Mace, used for the first time the previous
year at the 50th Anniversary celebration in Chicago, as well as the
Caduceus and the President's Badge, were also undamaged. A
pre-Civil War farm house adjacent to the headquarters structure,
which the College also owned, was occupied by the Group Insurance
Administrators (GIA). With the cooperation of the GIA, most of the
College Administrative Staff, along with the Editorial Department
of the Annals, were crowded into the building until the
damaged wing could be rebuilt. The College Staff also was able to
use the basement of an undamaged part of the headquarters building
to operate at near normal capacity during the rebuilding. The R. M.
Shoemaker Co., which had erected the burned out wing five years
earlier, estimated that it would cost approximately $325,000 to
Reconstruction began in June 1966, and it was hoped that
reoccupancy could take place by early 1967. Eleven months after the
fire destroyed the west wing, the Administrative Staff of the
American College of Physicians moved into the reconstructed
building. The College received $341,079 as part of the insurance
settlement for the fire damage. The Board of Regents also agreed to
several improvements not covered by insurance, which totaled
approximately $66,000. These included additional offices as well as
new fire protection and air conditioning systems. In 1970, new
additions were added to the headquarters and were completed fully
by 1972. The College now had a five-story wing including an
adjacent parking area and driveway. The total cost of the building
additions was $1,318,494. This was financed through a special
assessment of the members, which raised $544,370, and by the
previously cumulated building fund, accrued annually at
-Prepared July 2013 by Eric Greenberg, based on materials
from the Archives of the American College of Physicians and
Piersol, George M. Gateway of Honor: The American College of
Physicians, 1915-1959. Lancaster, PA: Lancaster Press, 1962;
Rosenow EC Jr. History of the American College of Physicians:
Executive Perspectives, 1959-1977. Philadelphia: American College
of Physicians; 1984 and Moser, Robert H. A Decade of Decision: A
Physician Remembers the American College of Physicians, 1977-1986.
Philadelphia, PA: American College of Physicians, 1991.