Unbuilding: The Queeny Tower

Update: See more demolition work in the early summer of 2021 and in mid August of 2021. The demolition was complete by October of 2021 and the site cleared.

They’re tearing down the Queeny Tower, which while not the most distinguished building architecturally in St. Louis, has an important role in the history of medicine in St. Louis. Barnes Jewish has an excellent group of resources on the building, such as how it came to be built, as well as how it served the hospital over the years.

Perhaps the demolition of the building, and how the wreckers have to carefully dismantle the structure so close to a major thoroughfare such as Kingshighway, is more interesting than the architecture of the tower. Like the old Jewish Hospital demolished in 2014, I find the stories of what happened inside these buildings much more fascinating, and how they played such an important role in the life of so many people for decades.

Also of interest, this will take the record as the tallest building ever torn down in the history of St. Louis, beating out the demolition of the Third National Bank Building in downtown St. Louis, and the old Rodeway Motor Inn in Midtown.

As everyone in St. Louis has noticed, Barnes-Jewish-Children’s Hospital and Washington University Physicians has been building like crazy in the last couple of decades, establishing themselves as one of the top hospital systems in the world. I don’t worry too much about these demolitions.

Incidentally, the smokers’ lounge was under the parking garage for the Queeny Tower, right by Kingshighway. I have to think that hospital administrators/doctors purposely chose that location right where car exhaust would have been the worst for such a function. I wonder where it has moved now.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Karl Bandow says:

    I was down in St Louis last week for vacation and passed the Queeny Tower several times. Not the most glamorous of buildings, but still sad to see a great example of “Mad Men” era architecture go.

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