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Goodbye to Gates; As landmark hospital closes, a grateful community says 'thanks for the memories' as it looks to a bright new future of state-of-the-art medical facilities

The hospital that dominated its section of Buffalo for 100 years has moved on, leaving behind a hulking campus of empty buildings and the name of the man who, after a mediocre term as U.S. president, became a notable community leader in his home city.

More than five years in the making, the plan to shutter Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital finally was realized last week, as the staff, patients and equipment completed the move to the new Gates Vascular Institute and the adjacent Buffalo General Hospital on the medical campus.

There is excitement about having a grand, new state-of-the-art facility, but also feelings of sadness and nostalgia, as those who spent much of their working lives in the old hospital bid it farewell.

The task of moving an entire hospital proved monumental, but the staff at Gates successfully moved to their new home every patient, department and some 5 million items without interrupting service.

News photographer Derek Gee was there as some of the last boxes were packed, the last patients were transferred and the doors closed on a long and important chapter in Buffalo's history, while about two miles away, a new one began at the Gates Vascular Institute.