Take a look inside the latest additions to SLU's Medical Center.The Center for Specialized Medicine (left), Commons Building, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and parking structure photographed from Grand Boulevard. The top of Desloge Tower is seen behind the Center for Specialized Medicine. Photo courtesy of SSM Health.
At the new SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and Center for Specialized Medicine, the numbers tell the story:
- A 10-floor, 600,000 square foot hospital
- A four-floor, 200,000 square foot Center for Specialized Medicine, the outpatient hub for SLUCare’s primary care providers and specialists
- A two-story chapel in the central commons building that also features a café, gift shop and conference center
- 316 private, inpatient rooms
- $550 million in construction costs
- 3,000 panes of glass installed during construction
It all adds up to a light, airy and state-of-the-art medical complex that opened Sept. 1, 2020, after three years of construction.
In April, the hospital was named the “Project of the Year” in the 2021 St. Louis Business Journal’s annual Building St. Louis Awards, which honor the commercial real estate projects that made the biggest impact in the St. Louis region.
The accolade recognizes the hospital’s expanded Level 1 trauma center and emergency department, larger intensive care units, expanded outpatient services and areas for future expansion. The medical complex is located on 15 acres adjacent to the longstanding hospital on Grand Boulevard between Rutger and Lasalle streets.
As for the old hospital facilities, Bordley Memorial Pavilion, the patient care addition that was dedicated in 1976, is closed. The 15-story, green-roofed Desloge Tower, known as Firmin Desloge Hospital when it opened in 1933, will be repurposed, but plans for its redevelopment have not been finalized.
A History of Care
– By Maggie Rotermund
The relationship between SSM Health and the University extends back more than a century. In 1903, SSM Health’s founding congregation, the Sisters of St. Mary (now known as the Franciscan Sisters of Mary) welcomed SLU School of Medicine students into their hospitals for education and training.
In 1928, the University and the sisters worked together to establish SLU’s School of Nursing. In 1933, the sisters and SLU opened the hospital on South Grand Boulevard that recently was home to SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.
Saint Louis University Hospital continued to be owned and operated jointly until 1959, when the sisters donated their share to the University. SLU sold the hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corp. in 1998.
In June 2015, SLU announced it would reacquire the hospital from Tenet and would contribute the facility to SSM Health in exchange for a minority financial interest and governance rights in SSM Health St. Louis. The deal became official in September of that year.
Universitas, the award-winning alumni magazine of Saint Louis University, is distributed to SLU alumni, parents and benefactors around the world. The magazine includes campus news, feature stories, alumni profiles and class notes, and has a circulation of 129,200.