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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Vision Research Building

Laboratory research at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is currently housed in the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Building.

Constructed in 1962, the McKnight building was Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s original home. The building housed the entire ophthalmology enterprise in its four floors. When the new Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital opened across the street in 1976, patient clinics and clinical faculty offices were relocated to this facility. This opened up space in the McKnight building to accommodate expansion of the laboratory research program.

In the same year William L. McKnight, the legendary leader of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M), gave a multi-million dollar gift to name the McKnight Vision Research Center and its ongoing expansion and activities. The gift underwrote research programs.

In 1989, a $5.5 million capital campaign expanded the McKnight building by 40,000 square feet with addition of four floors. A construction grant awarded by the National Eye Institute provided partial funding for lab build-out.

Upon her death in 1999, Bascom Palmer received a gift from Mr. McKnight’s widow Evelyn which created an endowment to be used to upkeep and maintain the William L. McKnight Vision Research Building. In the same year, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami approved the renaming of the McKnight Building as the “Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Vision Research Building.”

In addition to the research and scientific activities, the modern eight-story McKnight building houses the Institute’s central administrative offices. A series of architectural remodeling projects begun in 2002 has turned the McKnight building into a state-of-the-art facility for modern wet and dry lab research. This period has also seen an up-grading and expansion of shared laboratory research core facilities.