Construction Date: 1902
Named For: Slater Industrial Academy and State Normal School
Developed by Winston-Salem State University founder Simon Green Atkins, Slater Hospital was the first hospital for African-Americans residing in Winston-Salem. Because obtaining adequate health care was difficult for African-Americans in the Jim Crow era, Slater Industrial Academy and State Normal School began planning for the establishment of a hospital and a training program for nurses in 1899.
The funds for the proposed hospital were secured as a result of a $5,000.00 matching offer from Winston tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds. Reynolds' offer was contingent upon Atkins and his associates raising a minimum of $3,000.00. President Atkins and the constituents of Slater Industrial Academy and State Normal School raised $3,655.00 by January 1, 1901, and R.J. Reynolds donated $1,655.00 in cash and eleven acres of land (in the vicinity of the west wing of the Cleon Thompson Center for the hospital. It was dedicated on May 14, 1902, as a part of Slater Industrial Academy's 9th commencement program. However, as a result of ongoing fiscal, operational, and administrative problems, the hospital eventually closed in 1912. In subsequent years the structure was used as a boys dormitory and later as the household economics building.