A Preservation Plan for St. Louis
Part II:  Property Types

Period 1 - The Walking City (1820-1869)

Hospitals and Social Service Buildings


The only remaining hospital from Period 1 is the St. Louis Sanitarium or Insane Asylum, now part of the Malcolm Bliss Mental Health Center. The first facility for the care of the mentally ill in St. Louis, it was constructed in 1869 on a large open site that was then outside the city limits, and directly adjacent to the City Poor House and the Female Hospital (previously the Social Evil Hospital). Located in what is now The Hill neighborhood, at 5400 Arsenal Street, the architect of the building was William Rumbold, designer of the Old Courthouse dome. The large, red brick structure has a five-story central block, with four-story wings on either side. In the Italianate style, stone quoins adorn each corner, and a pronounced, bracketed cornice stretches across both center block and wings. First story windows are arched; those of the rest of the building have rectangular stone lintels. The most prominent element of the building is a distinctive cast iron dome and cupola above the central portion, which can be seen from anywhere on the City's south side. The main building was the first of numerous later building campaigns lasting through the late 20th century. The complex is now owned by the State of Missouri.


The Mullanphy Immigrant Home, at 1609 East 14th Street, is the only surviving social service structure associated with the Walking City. It was created by the bequest of Bryan Mullanphy, an early St. Louis philanthropist in 1851, for immigrants of all nationalities and religions, who were provided a home without cost while they looked for work. Designed by George I. Barnett and Albert Piquenard, in the Romanesque Revival Style, the brick building was constructed in 1867, and is four stories in height. The front facade has a central projecting section of three bays and contains the original entry; windows are set beneath round and segmental arches. As originally constructed, the building had a shaped gable and a small cupola on the front. Greatly altered, it is now used as a factory; however, the row of Federal vernacular residences directly opposite on East 14th look very much as they did when the Home was first constructed.

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