Sunday, February 8, 2009

The House of the Sick, Reborn

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This is the long disused St. Louis City Hospital, for many years the last option for the poor. It's been rehabbed into The Georgian, upscale condos in a barren setting. The picture reminds me of some of Andreas Gursky's straight-on, monumental architecture photos, like this one.

WHAT WAS NICE IN ST. LOUIS ON SATURDAY: the light. Heavy cloud mixed with peek-a-boo sun, And it was warm.

TOMORROW: sort of reminds me of Wyeth's Christina's World, but in a dump near the Mississippi, not a farm field near the Atlantic.

11 comments:

Lana said...

oh! you should come take a picture of the state hospital at arsenal and sublette! also just down the road on sublette is a lovely old building which, I believe, was the first columbarium west of the mississippi. It is gorgeous in the golden hour.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Wow. What an elegant transformation this turned out to be. That would cost a monumental fortune to build today and I suspect the rehab wasn't cheap either. With trees planted and some other things to anchor it with the environment it should look even better.

Virginia said...

Hope they didn't spend the "sod money" on the rehab work. I reminds me of a state mental hospital right now. Abe's right. They need to jump on the landscaping asap!
V

Bob Crowe said...

Abe and Virginia - the spot where I took this picture is in a vacant lot across the street, not part of the condo project. There were plans for a small shopping center, including a Walgreens and a supermarket, that are now on indefinite hold. Behind me was the bare knob and highway interchange in yesterday's picture. The landscaping will not improve anytime soon.

Sharon said...

There is something a bit ironic about a hospital for the poor being turned into "luxury condos" don't you think? I've seen it done before and it always me ponder where we've come from and exactly where we are going.

I don't recognize this building at all. Where is it located?

Bob Crowe said...

Sharon - this is old St. Louis City Hospital at 18th and Lafayette. The shot faces north. Now-demolished Malcolm Bliss Mental Health Center was behind it. Lafayette Square is to the left/west and Tucker Boulevard to the right/east.

Wayne said...

It's a fantastic looking building and I'm pleased to see it was saved.

I don't think I'd care to live there. I think the history of the place might weigh on my mind.

Petrea said...

This is a "wow" pic for me. I love that red brick in the foreground, repeating the color of the building.

Bibi said...

The building itself is quite beautiful, but in some way scary. Perhaps because of the lack of landscaping.

D.C. Confidential said...

It almost looks Soviet, what with the barren ground in front and the lack of visible activity near the building. Plus the gray, flat sky just adds to that depressing Soviet feel.

Very nice photo. Riveting, in fact. Depressing, but riveting.

Gregg said...

I've always loved this building. So glad it isn't being torn down!