Former St. John’s Hospital

Missouri Medical College, southwest corner of Jefferson and Lucas Avenues. Photograph by Emil Boehl, 1894-99. Missouri Historical Society Photographs and Prints Collections. GPN Boehl III-32. Scan © 2006, Missouri Historical Society.

I stumbled upon these photographs of the two former locations of St. John’s Hospital (now known as Mercy Hospital St. Louis, located at the northeast corner of I-270 and Highway 40), and I couldn’t help but want to share them. The image above shows the building at the southwest corner of Lucas and Jefferson avenues. Despite the population being around 400,000 back then, hospitals were small because they were basically just places where doctors told your family if you were going to die or not, so people didn’t stay very long! In fact, in my own research I’ve found most people who were seriously injured were taken home afterwards, and they skipped the hospital.

W.C. Persons, St. John’s Hospital, 307 S. Euclid Ave, 1928, Missouri History Museum, N31076

I found it fascinating that St. John’s was once located around the corner from Barnes, in what is now a gigantic conglomeration of buildings (BJC–amazing doctors and health professionals; campus planners, not so much). Many people don’t realize that the original Barnes buildings below are still there, but entombed behind later expansions.

Aerial view of Barnes and St. John’s Hospitals from southwest. Photograph, ca. 1923. Missouri Historical Society Photographs and Prints Collections. NS 35548. Scan © 2007, Missouri Historical Society.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post Chris! I love how you share our city with us.

    1. Stephen Slattery says:

      My Mother( RN) for 40 years) graduated from St. John’s hospital nursing school in 1945. I remember her remarking on the rigorous training she received from the Sisters who ran it. As a Physician I’m aware of the lack of medical knowledge available in those days. But the compassion shown by the nurses and other staff to the serious Il l and dying shouldn’t be discounted

  2. Mark Preston says:

    The lack (or inability) of campus planning is excruciatingly plain at the Cha Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. They make a serpentine to enter the building and another to get to a patient’s room. And then back to the street. The only well made path is too and from the (paid $) parking area.

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