Homer G Phillips Hospital, St. Louis, MO
Homer G. Phillips Hospital was built from 1932-1936 and dedicated in 1937. It was a
segregated black hospital in a highly segregated city at the time. The initial funding for the hospital was a bond issue in 1922 for $1,000,000 plus an additional $200,000 contributed by the City government. These funds were unused for 9 years due to indecision as to whether to build a wing onto the City Hospital or construct a new hospital. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided the remaining funds necessary to construct the hospital. The dedication ceremony included a speech by Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Department of the Interior. In 1944, it was one of the ten largest general hospitals in the country. It trained 1/3 of Black Medical School Graduates in 1948. It had an illustrious history, but that was short-lived due to the integration of City hospitals in St. Louis (1955). Fundamentally, though, the success of the hospital was undermined by under-funding. It closed in 1979. Recently, it has been re-done as a low-cost senior citizens home, however the grandeur of the exterior remains.
There are 3 buildings including in the Homer G Phillips complex that were constructed
during the 30’s including the main building that is comprised of a main building with 4 wings projecting off the north and south sides of the main building. Directly to the west of the main building and connected by an elevated walkway is a building used for administration and maintenance. Disconnected to the west, but connected to the main complex by a tunnel is a 5 story nurses building for housing nurses studying in the hospital nursing school, also having classrooms. The façade is faced by terra cotta that was imported from England and which defines each story of the building. The main building and nurse’s building are intact, but the attached building immediately to the west of the main building has been partially demolished.
Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on February 7, 2013.
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