Vanderbilt’s Medical Center North, the labyrinthine structure where senses of direction go
to die, has been named to Fortune magazine’s “100 Most Confusing Places to Work” list.
“We’ve been trying for this national honor for a long time,” said Larry Goldberg, CEO of Vanderbilt Hospital, who has an office in the AA
corridor of MCN. “I think what put us over the top was when the man who had been lost in the
building since 1934 was found last year.”
That man, 95 year old Sam Roundtree, had walked into the building as a teenager
when it was still Vanderbilt Hospital, and hadn’t been seen for 64 years. The story received national publicity, including a
mention in a David Letterman monologue.
The Fortune story mentions the Roundtree saga, but also points out that the
building has had at least six major additions, some of which match up poorly
with the existing hallway grid.
“The result is numerous ‘halls to nowhere,’ confusing numbering, and a staggering number of bewildered people wandering the
halls at all hours of the night and day,” the magazine says. “Medical Center North stands as a monument to befuddlement.”
“We couldn’t be more proud,” Goldberg said. “We’d have a party, if we could afford one, which we can’t.”