Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, After 1933, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, HABS MO,96-SALU,34-

The story of Carondelet as a community is pretty much inseparable from the story of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and their massive complex, which stretches along the bluffs in the middle of the neighborhood, reflects that connection.

It’s really a series of buildings all built right next to each other, and really the Second Empire wing shown above and below is built in what looked to have been the front lawn along Minnesota Avenue of earlier buildings.

If you look at the convent from above in this image from Google Satellite, and you can see the different building campaigns.

There is of course a chapel in the middle of the complex, and judging how the wings of the the buildings end, I think that the sanctuary would have eventually been completely surrounded if they had kept expanding.

It’s a beautiful structure in its own right, and is even more special as part of a larger institution such as the convent.

There is also a physical plant building, and the original doors for the loading of coal are still there, right along the wall. One has been converted into a vent, but this one remains.

Look at that retaining wall! And it’s in great shape (perhaps due to some excellent restoration work), holding up the earth behind.

There’s a certain fascinating view of the complex from down below, like looking up at a medieval castle such as Carcassonne.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Barbara Schutz says:

    My great (or perhaps great great) grandmother was a Jackson from Richmond, Virginia. She was married to Joseph Jackson, a doctor. When he died, she remarried a Mr. Buttus (sp:?) who took her to St. Louis. It must have been her child who attended Carondolet, There are family stories about her naughtiness, having to wear a conical, dumb hat and sit on a stool at the front door of the school.

    I am sorry I can’t supply more information, but I am hoping you can find her for me. I am 90 years old, so my ancestor must have been at Carondolet in the previous century. Thanks for any information you can find.

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