“Remembering Stadium Gate 27”
For half a century—1942-1992—some of the most significant studies of heart-attack risk factors and prevention trials were directed by the School of Public Health Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene (later merged with the Division of Epidemiology) housed under the bleachers of the old Memorial Stadium. Our quarters were dark, dank, and on football game days, noisy, but we did our best to make Stadium Gate 27 a welcoming and cozy place.
Back then, the staff was small enough that we could gather every afternoon for tea. As the reputations of Director Ancel Keys and “The Lab” grew, the stadium became a “mecca” for researchers from around the world, who came here not only to learn and share knowledge, but to have their pictures taken in front of the famous arched doorway.
Scholars and supporters are still drawn to the School for its established excellence in a variety of fields. But it will be grand when we finally have our own building—a new symbol of achievements and promise in public health, where future visitors will come to have their pictures taken!
Henry Blackburn is professor emeritus at the School of Public Health who still goes to his WBOB office every week and maintains an archive and website chronicling the history of heart-attack prevention research. Outside of his public health interests, he greatly enjoys musical hobbies!