Saturday, February 18, 2006

Photos of Saint Louis University Medical Campus

Here is the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, on Grand Avenue in midtown Saint Louis, Missouri. It is owned by Saint Louis University, of the Society of Jesus. It is one of two major medical schools in Saint Louis, the other is Washington University. The first M.D. was awarded at the school in 1836; this is the oldest school of medicine west of the Mississippi River.

This school is located across a broad, shallow valley from the main SLU campus to the north; it originally was the valley of Mill Creek, and contained the upper reaches of a lake called Chouteau's Pond. In the early 1850s this polluted lake was drained due to a cholera epidemic, and soon the railroads filled the valley with tracks and sidings. It is the historical northern boundary of south Saint Louis. Rock Spring, once the source of Mill Creek, is located nearby, with its waters flowing into a sewer. Recently, a developer proposed to recreate this lake, surrounding it with housing, retail, and recreation areas.

The south side of the medical school. It features Gothic pointed arches and terra cotta symbols of medicine.

The main door to the medical school. Over the door is the University's seal, saying UNIVERSITAS SANCTI LUDOVICI.

The north side of the school. This structure was built in 1927, and has been heavily modified in the last eighty years, including the addition of a story.

A statue of Dr. Tom Dooley next to the medical school. The humanitarian work of this Catholic Saint Louis University graduate inspired President Kennedy to form the Peace Corps. Dooley has his supporters and detractors; some sought his canonization; others said he was a CIA spy.

A view of the school from the west, from across Grand Avenue.

Across Grand Avenue from the Medical School are the hospitals; to the left is Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, owned by the Sisters of Saint Mary; to the right is Saint Louis University Hospital; now privately owned by Tenet HealthSystem.

Archbishop Rigali and Pope John Paul II opposed the sale of the hospital to Tenet, which is an abortion provider. Typically under Canon Law all properties owned by a Catholic religious order in the jurisdiction of a bishop are under his control. Several Catholic religious organizations made bids to purchase it, but Tenet swayed political opinion by stating that they would provide about $5 million per year in tax dollars if the hospital lost it tax-exempt status. The Archdiocese lost its lawsuit in the secular courts. It is interesting that the "Separation of Church and State" only goes in one direction: the Church can have no say in secular matters, while the State can act with impunity.

The chapel of the hospital. I don't know what it looks like inside.

A sundial on the chapel; it is too late in the day, the sun was no longer shining on it.

The old Gothic entrance to the hospital. It is no longer accessible from the street. Saint Louis University Hospital was once called Firmin Desloge, named after a lead mining magnate. The hospital opened in 1933; at that same time the Sisters of Saint Mary opened an African-American infirmary.

The modern entrance to the hospital.


  1. The chapel at Saint Louis University Hospital ("Chapel of Christ the Crucified King") is quite lovely. It was designed by Ralph Adams Cram and is well worth a visit. If you go, you might want to check with Pastoral Care (577-8066) to be sure that photography is allowed, though I can't imagine they'd object. I know the space is monitored by security cameras.

  2. P.S. There's also a beautiful garden just outside the chapel. The street entrance is locked, but it's accessible via a door at the northeast end of the chapel, and down a ramp.