Revisiting the former City Hospital site in the Peabody Darst Webbe Neighborhood

Construction activity has started once again on the site of the former City Hospital, part of which is now called the Georgian in the Peabody Darst Webbe Neighborhood.

I’ve covered this property several times over the years, including a post from 2009, which includes some photos of the transitional phase of the former power plant and laundry building properties on the eastern side of the property.

The neighborhood tour linked above has some photos from 2011, after the renovations were completed.

city hospital.jpeg

This once dense hospital property located in what was once referred to as Bohemian Hill has changed a lot over the years. It dates back to the 1840’s during a cholera outbreak. It was destroyed by fire and a cyclone, rebuilt and became larger into the mid-20th Century with the addition of the towers. It closed in 1985 and fell into disrepair post abandonment.

I still remember when this part of town was pretty scary looking from an abandonment perspective. The crumbling hospital complex and the vacant public housing towers were monuments to abandonment and decay. The best photo I could find is from Built St. Louis circa 2001:

Photo credit: Built St. Louis

Photo credit: Built St. Louis

The Malcolm Bliss Hospital and 1947 towers (in the photo above) have all been demolished. There is a surface parking lot and A.T. Still University building on those sections of the property.

But the remaining buildings have found new uses. The former Administrative Building, now the Georgian condos (named after the Georgian Revival style of architecture) houses 104 condos. It was rehabbed in 2005. The Laundry Building and Power Plant were part of a fantastic renovation effort which has held a rock climbing gym, event space, restaurants, etc. over the years. You can find photos of those in the above links.

The other old buildings remained shuttered for decades.

So, when I noticed construction fences wrapping the former Commissioners (1907), Commissary (1940), Ambulance Garage (1921) and Clinic Buildings (1921), I was thrilled.

I’ve been following this property for over ten years, proof that projects take time. Ownership has changed hands (now Pearl Companies of Indianapolis, IN) and we went through a major recession. Gladly, the remaining buildings will add to this historic property and bring some more activity and investment to an important neighborhood just south of Downtown.

Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this next phase will bring a $16M renovation project.

The remaining buildings of the old City Hospital complex on Lafayette Avenue have a new owner, with plans to convert them into 74 apartments.
— Jakob Barker - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Glad to see this 10 acre property activated and saved from the elements and visible and active for another generation.