Levi Cooper Lane, M.D. 1828-1902
Surgeon, founder of Cooper Medical College, Lane Hospital, and the Lane Popular and Medical Lectures - Dr. Lane was a man of strong character who devoted his life to the cause of medicine and research. The Health Sciences Library was originally built and named The Lane Medical Library in his honor.
Levi Cooper Lane was born in Ohio on May 9, 1828. He had his early training at Farmer's College near Cincinnati and later attended Union Theological Seminary in New York where he graduated with a Master of Arts degree.
Dr. Lane graduated in medicine from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1851 and spent four years as an intern at Ward's Island, New York. In 1855 he enlisted in the United States Navy and was commissioned with the rank of Assistant Surgeon. While in the Navy, Dr. Lane traveled all over the world. He pursued his studies in medicine and surgery with vigor, in addition to becoming thoroughly proficient in Latin, Greek and many other languages.
College of the Pacific
The First Medical School on the Pacific Coast
In 1859, after resigning from the Navy, Dr. Lane joined his uncle, Elias Samuel Cooper, in forming the first medical school on the Pacific Coast in San Francisco. In order to have the authority to grant degrees in medicine, they obtained a charter from the College of the Pacific, a Methodist Episcopalian college established in 1851 in the City of Santa Clara, now the University of the Pacific. Drs. Lane and Cooper named their school the Medical Department of the College of the Pacific.
After the death of Dr. Cooper in 1862, the medical school languished. In 1864, when Dr. H. H. Toland founded the Toland Medical School in San Francisco, the Medical Department of the College of the Pacific was closed. The students were transferred to the Toland School and the faculty was absorbed into Toland Medical School. In 1873 the Toland Medical School became the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
In 1870 several of Dr. Cooper's original faculty, including Dr. Lane, resigned from the Toland Medical School. In July 1870 this group opened its own school on Stockton Street, south of Geary, and affiliated with the University City College as the Medical College of the Pacific.
Cooper Medical College
In 1882 Dr. Lane invited members of the Medical College of the Pacific faculty to join him in launching a new medical school to be named Cooper Medical College in honor of Dr. Elias Samuel Cooper. At a cost of $125,000 Dr. Lane funded the construction of a building to house the School at Sacramento and Webster Streets.
Dr. Lane deeded the property and the building to the College under the condition that the building be used as an institution of medical education and that a series of public lectures called the "Lane Popular Lectures" be given. These lectures were held annually at no charge with the objective of disseminating medical knowledge to the layperson.
Ongoing development occurred at this site, including completion of Lane Hall in 1892 at a cost of $125,000, and the Lane Hospital, completed in 1894, at Clay and Webster Streets.
In the same year, Dr. Lane inaugurated a course of lectures: the Lane Medical Lectures, to be given annually by eminent physicians and scientists. These lectures were directed to medical students and physicians to assist them in keeping abreast of new medical knowledge.
The possibility of a union between Leland Stanford Junior University and Cooper Medical College was discussed in 1901. After Dr. Lane's death, correspondence regarding an affiliation continued. When authorities of Cooper College realized that a large amount of the Lane fortune would not be available to the College, a complete transfer of the College to Stanford University was proposed. On July 1, 1912 the College and the Lane Hospital were transferred to the Trustees of Stanford University. Stanford continued to develop the site and completed construction of the Stanford Hospital at 2351 Clay Street in 1917.
Lane Medical Library
Dr. Lane died February 9, 1902. By the will of his widow, whose death occurred the following August, one third of his estate was given to Cooper Medical College to establish a medical library, to be known as the Lane Medical Library.
In August 1906, the Lane Medical Library is established by a resolution of the directors of Cooper Medical College. In 1908, Cooper Medical College was accepted by Stanford University, as their Department of Medicine. As part of the agreement, Stanford University promises to erect a medical library as a memorial to Dr. Lane. This library was dedicated in November 1912.
The Health Sciences Library
In 1959 Stanford University built a new medical campus in Palo Alto. Lane Medical Library also moved to Palo Alto and the present building at Sacramento and Webster was vacated in 1959.
In 1970, the library was rededicated as the Pacific Medical Center, Health Sciences Library. The Library is dedicated to the group of physicians and dentist who have played significant roles in the history and growth of Pacific Medical Center and the University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry.
Pacific Medical Center became Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center in 1983. The current Californic Pacific Medical Center integrates Pacific Presbyterian Hospital, Children's Hospital of San Francisco and Davies Medical Center.