Central West End


McAuley Hall at 325 North Newstead Avenue is a home for elderly women operated by the Sisters of Mercy. Named for Catherine McAuley, foundress of the order, the home is situated on the site of the former home of David R. Francis. When Francis was president of the 1904 World's Fair, many distinguished guests were entertained in his mansion. Across the street at 330 and 332 North Newstead are houses which were erected by Francis as homes for his children. A prominent institutional element in the Central West End is the medical center complex made up of Barnes Hospital and its associated hospitals, the Washington University Medical School, Jewish Hospital, and various other related schools and facilities.

The nucleus for this internationally known center was the Washington University Medical School which moved to its present site from its old location on Locust Street west of 18th in 1914. This school was formed in 1899, following a merger of the St. Louis and Missouri Medical Colleges. The latter institution was founded in 1840 and the former became independent from St. Louis University in 1855. Late in 1914, the newly constructed Barnes Hospital was opened and the St. Louis Children's Hospital moved to Kingshighway from Jefferson Avenue. This was the beginning of the present medical center which has since experienced a record of continuous growth and expansion.

Barnes Hospital now occupies the 18 story Queeny Tower, which was completed in 1964, and the large East Pavilion building built in 1971. The new West Pavilion will be completed in late 1980.The Children's Hospital has made additions in 1944 and 1954, and the St. Louis Maternity Hospital building dates from 1925 with an addition in 1967. The nearby Oscar Johnson Institute was originally finished in 1929, with a new addition in 1974. Other affiliated hospitals include Renard (1953 and 1962), Bernard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital (1951), Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (1930, 1956 and 1970), and the David P. Wohl, Jr. Memorial Hospital, whose first section was opened in 1951, with additions in 1955, 1959, and 1967.

The Barnes Hospital School of Nursing at 416 South Kingshighway, was opened in 1915, and added new additions in 1920 and 1927. The Medical School north and south wings, built in 1913, were joined by a central addition in 1950, and structures on McKinley Avenue in 1968. Its Spencer T. Olin Residence Hall at 4550 Scott Avenue is a ten story dormitory completed in 1959. The school has also taken over the old buildings of the Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children built in 19928, and vacated when that institution moved to St. Louis County. The complex has several parking lots, including one on the former site of St. John's parking lots, including one on the former site of St. John's Hospital, and two garages. A large underground garage that is built beneath a portion of Forest Park south of the hospital complex, was opened in 1975.

The Jewish Hospital on Kingshighway at Forest Park Avenue was opened in 1927, following a move from its old home on Delmar west of Union. It, too, has had a record of expansion with the addition of the Mark C. Steinberg Memorial in 1967, and the Forest Park Pavilion in 1974, besides earlier annexes in 1954 and 1960. An adjacent garage was built in 1971. The nearby Moses Shoenberg Memorial Nurses Home was completed in 1928 and enlarged in 19965. Central Institute for the Deaf at 800 South Kingshighway is housed in a structure which was built in 1928.

As a result of this continuing expansion, the Medical Center has attained status as one of the nation's largest and finest hospitals - teaching and research facilities - and is one of the City's largest employers. Since 1975, the Center has sponsored the Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment project in its vicinity. This program calls for extensive rehabilitation of existing housing, construction of new dwelling units, commercial rejuvenation and improvements in traffic and general neighborhood appearance. One of the first tangible results of this effort is the new $12 million Blue Cross headquarters building, a six-story structure on Forest Park Avenue west of Newstead, which was completed in 1976. Proximity of the Medical Center has caused the addition of several medical office buildings and nursing homes in the area. Notable among the latter is the circular high-rise Regency Nursing Home at 4560 West Pine Boulevard, which was built in 1965. The former Frisco Hospital at 4960 Laclede Avenue has been converted into the Parkside Towers Nursing Home and at 4930 Lindell is the Lindell (formerly Park Lane) Hospital, originally constructed in 1939.

Some other new projects in the Medical Center area include a new laboratory facility for Monsanto on Clayton Avenue, rehabilitation of the Euclid-Laclede business area and the creation of a private street in the 4400 block of Laclede Avenue. Among new institutions in the Central West End are the Cardinal Ritter Institute which has site headquarters in a former motel at 4483 Lindell Boulevard, where it also operates a complex for senior citizens. Another former motel, the Diplomat at Kingshighway and Waterman, is also used for housing senior citizens. It is operated by the United Church of Christ and occupies the site of the old Usona Hotel of World's Fair days.

In a different field is the new Psychoanalytic Institute on Forest Park Boulevard. Library service to this area is provided by the Jacob Lashly Branch Public Library at 4537 West Pine.