St. Vincent’s Hospital

Update: I went back in early 2019; the building was damaged by fire on June 11, 2020.

I spotted the roofline of what looked to be a Romanesque castle recently, and after a search on Google Maps, I found out what this large, majestic building was.

Update: Sorry about all the low quality photos!

Closed decades ago, it is now low-income apartments. I had trouble getting a good shot.

Owned by the Daughters of Charity, the asylum began downtown and moved out to what was then the country in the 1890’s. Read more about the building from its National Register nomination.

The Daughters of Charity also ran nearby Marillac College, which I featured earlier this year, which is due north of the old hospital, across what is now St. Vincent’s Park, which I suspect was owned by the Sisters as well.

Update: Link is dead as of June of 2020.

I found it interesting that there is the 1930 Census on file for the hospital, or as they called it back then, a sanitarium.

I was saddened about the current condition of the building, which is beginning to show the age of its renovation in the early 1980’s.

Likewise, it is isolated, up a narrow suburban street, and I wonder about its long term viability. We talked to a couple of residents, and they were not happy with their living conditions.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. There was a recent thread about this complex on the Underground Ozarks site.When I was a kid, one of the threats parents used to use was "We're going to put you in St. Vincent's if you don't behave!" Of course, they were referring to the St. Vincent's Orphan Home just North of Natural Bridge (still serving kids).And an often-heard lament from Mom was "You kids are going to put me in St. Vincent's." We couldn't figure out why we would put her in an ORPHANS' home – until we found out about the OTHER St. Vincent's! Of course "…on Arsenal Street" was also often heard…

  2. We used to sneak around here after school sometimes to catch a look at the "crazy" people. How insensitive we were back in the early 1970s. But what we did often hear are screams – earth shattering screams. I vowed then and there I would NEVER go crazy. /We didn't know what in the world was going on inside those walls.

  3. Robin Goldschmidt-New Bloomfield, MO says:

    I was admitted to this hospital when I was 17. When I was admitted I was told that if I signed myself in, I could sign myself out at any given time. That turned out not to be true. My father had a job that gave us 100 percent insurance. My mother & father were not allowed to visit me for a month. I was given all kinds of disabilatating drugs where i could not function . I had tried to commit suicide because of an abusive boyfriend, that’s why I was there. So my doctor was supposed to be for my depression. Always took me back to my room after I was given sedatives. Don’t remember anything. Then I was given shock treatments on a dark vacant hallway three times a week. I stopped taking the drugs that they were giving me & started flushing them. Most of the nurses were doing their jobs, with no knowledge of anyones background. Had to get a family lawyer to get me out. The most horrifying time in my life. Still affects me.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Robin, what year was this? I’m sorry to hear about your experience in St. Vincent’s.

    2. Scott Williams says:

      I had almost exactly the same experience as Robin. Ridiculous amounts of pure abuse. I was there for over a year in the 70s…Worst period of my life.

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