BJC, Children’s Hospital Set to Receive City Approval for Jewish Hospital Demo, Expansion

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Share on LinkedIn0Print this pageEmail this to someone

BJC north - campus expansion
{the buildings seen at left would replace the Jewish Hospital and School of Nursing}

The original Jewish Hospital and additions and the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing buildings have been on the chopping block since at least 2007 and realistically long before that (see 2007 proposed land use plan below). What hasn’t been known is the form of the pending transformation. Now, the City’s Cultural Resources Office is recommending that the Preservation Board approve the demolition for a significant expansion of the campus, including Children’s Hospital. None of the buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to information contained in the Preservation Board final agenda, Parkview Place would remain open, but be bridged by the new facility. The expansive alteration is the first step towards a new aesthetic for the medical campus. Recent towers along Kingshighway and the new BJC headquarters at Euclid and Forest Park Avenue have been modern, if unadventurous. A call for a campus vision (see video below) showed that a new aesthetic was likely on the way. The northern most addition would be an adult inpatient facility while new construction extended over Parkview Place would be an extension of Children’s Hospital.

Jewish Hospital - St. Louis, MO
{streetview of the original Jewish Hospital today}

jewish hospital stl
{postcard showing the original appearance of Jewish Hospital}

Jewish Hospital - St. Louis, MO
{according to plans, Parkview Place would be bridged by a new addition to Children’s Hospital}

The Cultural Resources Office recommendation to the Preservation Board is as follows: The reuse potential of the existing buildings for medical care is very low. The demolition of the existing buildings would alter the urban design of the Washington University Medical Campus and Kingshighway Boulevard, but not in an adverse manner. Barnes-Jewish Hospital proposes new hospital buildings that would equal the existing qualifying buildings in the medical campus setting.

Images included in the Preservation Board agenda show a building of up to 11 stories at the corner of Kingshighway and Forest Park Avenue. The first several levels of this building appear to be a parking structure with vehicular access from eastbound Forest Park. The Children’s Hospital expansion is 12 stories. A third building on Parkview would be demolished to make room for the planned expansion and what appears to be a dedicated patient drop off and entrance. More detailed images are needed to fill in more detail.

bjc on Parkview
{this mid-century buildling would be demolished according to expansion plans}

BJC north - campus expansionThe video below is a product of BJC’s call for inspiration regarding the future of the Central West End medical campus. nextSTL previously looked at what $1,200,000,000 might buy over the next decade or so and needless to say, the visions below are, ahem…a little more refined. Together with further development of CORTEX to the east, the area is set to see transformative change in the very near future.

The proposal: Barnes-Jewish Hospital proposes to demolish the Kingshighway Building, the original Jewish Hospital, and the Steinberg and Yalem building additions to it in order to construct a new inpatient adult bed tower. The hospital also proposes the demolition of the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing Building and the construction of an expansion to the adjacent St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Barnes Jewish Hospital had proposed the demolition of the nursing school building and
the development of a plaza on its site in July, 2010. At that time, the Preservation Board
did not approve the proposed demolition as no new construction was proposed.

BJC north - campus expansion
{massing study of planned BJC/Children’s Hospital project}

{the WU/BJC/Children’s Hospital medical campus today – image by}

BJC/WU visioning screen capture
{a screen grab (video below) of a new vision for the medical campus}

Preliminary Reviews: demolition of Barnes-Jewish Hospital buildings prior to new construction – City St. Louis Preservation Review 3/25/2013 by nextSTL

WUMC Community Unit Plan_Nov 2007 by nextSTL

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Share on LinkedIn0Print this pageEmail this to someone
  • Mike F

    Postcard written in a German hand; I hadn’t noticed that before.

  • Hasan

    This is great news.

    I know it’s hard to please everyone but I can’t believe that there’s any opposition to this at all. You can’t critique the design of a massing study…its a massing study. And there’s nothing suburban at all about this. It seems some people are too quick to critique and most concerns are unwarranted.

  • T-Leb

    McCarthy gettin’ rich rich rich off Hospital construction, do they have a permanent office at Barnes?

    • Presbyterian

      I don’t know about office space. McCarthy has $2.4 billion in annual revenue, though, and is 100% employee-owned. They’re also based in St. Louis and rated a top place to work. I like it when firms like that get the work.

      Even if they did all of the BJC campus work over ten years, it might only be 5% of their annual revenue. It’s very large for an employee-owned company. They do keep busy.

      • T-Leb

        Don’t forget Mercy in Joplin and Jeff City too.

  • Presbyterian

    I’ll be interested to see what phase two will bring with a replacement for Queeny Tower. I think the Kingshighway skyline as seen from Forest Park could get more interesting as this project progresses.

    Looking at these plans, I am noticing (1) a lot of patient rooms oriented outward toward the park and (2) a lot of glass. It’s not that I’d like to stay there, but if I had to, a view acoss Forest Park might do wonders for the spirit.

  • Grumps

    I have to say, that ridiculous sky-bridge from the extremely melodramatic Vimeo movie looks like a long stream of robot ejaculate. Horrible. I prefer the Brutalist aesthetic of the current mashed-up complex to that glass and metal twisty, gloopy bullcrap.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Guess that’s why it’s just a call for visions – an exploration of concepts and possibilities.

    • Mark Nugent

      Speaking of the video, yeah, could it have been any more self-indulgent?

  • Imran

    Putting my feelings about losing historic buildings aside and looking at the proposal objectively, I have the following reactions:

    1. Suburban envy! Typically suburban buildings tend to be broad and sprawling like these while tall and slender buildings like the Park east tower and the Chase evoke more urban settings (since they respect the street grid)

    2 Building bridges over streets suck people off sidewalks and create scary lurking grounds beneath ( did we learn anything from Washington Ave?)
    3 There seems to be more beige and aqua in our future if you go by the renderings here. Must we expand into architectural anonymity?

    • Alex Ihnen

      These are anything but suburban. The images show 6-10+ stories fronting the sidewalks and filling the corner in a way the current setback doesn’t. The buildings are as dense as anything on the medical campus. These are high-rises that add a lot of density. It’s one thing to call Aventura suburban, but this? I imagine no one would call the existing building, with its setback, stepped back design suburban.

      • Imran

        Oh I am not talking about setbacks which are fine I guess. Its more the proportions of the buildings themselves. The squat and fat buildings look like another iteration of MOBAP or some other example of generica we see along 270. Especially if those lower levels end up being a parking garage. They also seem to disregard the massing of the built environment around them much like the Dierberg’s on Manchester or the Ameristar casino off 70.

        • Alex Ihnen

          I get the strange feeling that we’re not looking at the same buildings. 😉

        • Guest

          This makes no sense. Did you see the massing study? How does this even begin to compare to a Dierberg’s or a casino that sits on a river?

          • Imran

            I will try to explain one last time. If this does not work you can label me insane and we will move on
            There are building forms that open onto the sidewalk and invite pedestrians in, windows and doors that encourage interactions with sidewalk traffic. Then there are buildings that lift pedestrian activity off the street and try to contain all activity within themselves. Casino’s do that, as does that massive fortress of a Dierberg. I like to see buildings that put people first such as they did in the 1920s . Do you seriously not see any differences between the priorities of Queeny tower/ Children’s place and the School of nursing/Jewish hospital buildings?

          • jhoff1257

            There are no final renderings posted here, how do we know that it won’t open up to the sidewalk? Keep in mind that this is a hospital. The key purpose is for treating patients. A skybridge is necessary because Parkview Place will remain open. Do you honestly expect doctors and nurses to wheel gurneys and patients across an active street? If you were talking about a general office complex you would have a point. But we are talking about patients, some of them critical. Pedestrians take a backseat in this case.

            Judging by what we currently know (since none of these designs are final) the building will fit in an urban context, won’t have any adverse effect on the street grid and sidewalks won’t be sacrificed. It also won’t be surrounded by a massive sea of parking lots like a casino and supermarket. As far as windows go, a close look at the first image shows windows lining the lower levels of the entire structure. The massing study simply shows the various heights and setbacks of what is being proposed. It’s not a detailed render of what will be constructed.

            I think I’m just thrown by the casino and the Dierberg’s comments. The suburbs I live in don’t have a traditional “built environment” which means there really isn’t any massing to disregard. Everything is built around a sea of parking with limited sidewalks, to me that is what ruins the pedestrian experience.

          • Imran

            Thanks for pointing out those openings on the sidewalk. I thought those were a line of trees. Went by to take some pictures today (will post in the forum thread). Man, these brick buildings are gorgeous and serve the sidewalk very well.

        • Adam

          i agree with you about the proportions and the massing. my fear is that in place of what we have now–which is a human scaled sidewalk frontage, composed of warm materials (brick and stone) with a variety of textures and setbacks–we’re going to get a giant, 10-story, mega-block slab of either glass or prefab concrete. not to mention we’re going to lose all the beautiful, mature trees along kingshighway and parkview. i definitely see and share your concern.

          • Imran

            Thanks Adam. I hope you will email the Preservation Board.

    • Presbyterian

      I agree that pedestrian bridges are usually anti-urban and undermine an active street life. I do make an exception for hospitals, though. All those gurneys trying to cross the street tend to crowd up the crosswalks 🙂

  • Richard Bose

    The one long-ways along Kingshighway should be parallel to the street.

    • jhoff1257

      Judging by the massing study it will be. On another note I recommend getting rid of the underpass for Forest Park at Kingshighway. I think an at-grade intersection would be better suited here.

      • Don

        That’s an interesting thought. I’m having a hard time envisioning how adding all the FPP traffic to the Kingshighway intersection would be an improvement.

        • jhoff1257

          After looking at a satellite view I think my point is even more clear. I don’t see how this would be any different than Kingshighway at Lindell. Just seems like over-built infrastructure for an age when St. Louis had more cars on the street. Not to mention those walls and the Kingshighway overpass will need to be replaced, possibly in the near future, they don’t look to be in very good shape. Seems cheaper to do an at-grade than rebuild all of that. Plus we’d then have a 4-way intersection at FP and Kingshighway. Would be better than having to do the West Pine wrap around. Better for pedestrians too. Maybe I’m just over thinking it. I also think the underpass at Forest Park and Grand should come out.

          • Don

            I think there is a lot more traffic on FP than you realize. Certainly much more — exponentially more — than Kingshighway at Lindell. And since all the excavation has already been done — and would all have to be un-done — I’m also skeptical that converting the intersection back to grade would save any money.

            Finally, I’m especially skeptical converting FP at K’highway to grade would be better for pedestrians. I think it would be exactly the opposite.

            Perhaps an at grade FP at K’highway intersection would improve access to the new BJC / Children’s buildings, but at what cost?

            Maybe I’m just out in left field here, but this seems to me to fall into the category of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’

          • DrDrew

            Having all the traffic from FPP cross Kingshighway at an at-grade intersection would definitely be worse for pedestrians at Kingshighway, but infinitely better for pedestrians at Euclid, which even in the current setup probably has 20x the pedestrian traffic of the Kingshighway intersection to the west. Maybe I’m just scarred by the episode a few years ago where an out-of-town woman was hit and killed at Euclid by a car rocketing up from the park…

          • Don

            That problem can be solved by breaking up the light synch so that as Taylor turns green, Euclid turns red.

            I agree with you that Euclid @FPP can be a dangerous intersection and pedestrians must be alert.

          • Dogtown Dude

            In hindsight, do you still think that your thoughts are true regarding traffic on FPP at Kingshighway? Now that we know we are going to have a Whole Foods, IKEA and Target all drawing traffic from the central corridor and quite beyond?

    • Alex Ihnen

      If you look at the massing study, and this is still conceptual – or at least not exactly final, the first four to six stories are parallel to Kingshighway, providing a substantial block face. This design would present a much more substantial presence to the street than the existing buildings, though the success of the design will depend on the detail and materials used.