Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Old Deaconess Hospital

There's not much left of the original facade of the old Deaconess Hospital on Oakland Avenue, slated for demolition if the sale of the property to the zoo proceeds.
There is still this nice nurses' wing, I believe, that could be reused by the zoo. It looks like it's in good shape, and has architectural merit.
My favorite part of the hospital is the row of three nurse statues that line the corridor that links the hospital with the west wing above.

The rest of the hospital site is definitely looking worse for wear. The glass box office building, to be saved for the zoo's expansion, is still in good condition.
It's a shame the building is being torn down, but I must say that I believe the zoo would be a good steward of the property. Forest Park lost many, many acres of land to Highway 40, and I see no reason why the park can't spread south a little, into space that has been institutional for close to a century. Less surface parking would be nice, if the zoo could alter its plans for the site.
And the saving of the two iconic towers would be a welcome sign from the zoo as well.


  1. Tom Maher - KirkwoodApril 24, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    I will miss it a tad as well - I was borned there some years ago (as in "from when the postcard dates"...).
    I wouldn't imagine the towers could be saved, short of severing them from the old building and lifting off with a tremendous crane - prob bigga bucks. That said, they would make a cool pair of gate guards!

    1. You're right, short of dismantling them it would be very difficult.

  2. I had been reluctant to think that demolishing this building complex would be a good thing, as I've always loved driving north on Hampton between Southwest and 44, seeing that building across the valley perched on top of that hill, keeping watch over the entire area. But you make a very good point about the Zoo being able to lay claim to the site as being a repayment to Forest Park which as lost so much space over the years. So I'm keen to agree with you.

  3. The protrusion on the front facade, that look like exposed elevator shafts, are 'bathroom pods' installed in the 1990's.

  4. In case anyone's wondering... those towers hold elevator control units.

  5. Also, the statues have been removed from the outside of the library & the all the stained glass windows (except the rose window) have been removed from the chapel.


A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.