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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name The Home of the Friendless
Reference Number 15000773
State Missouri
County St. Louis
Town St. Louis
Street Address 4431 South Broadway
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 11/9/2015
Areas of Significance Social History
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The Home of the Friendless is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A. It is locally significant in the area of SOCIAL HISTORY. Charlotte Charless established the Home of the Friendless (Home) in 1853 to "afford relief to destitute and suffering females," specifically elderly women and widows who had lost their means of financial support.1 The Home served as a senior care facility for nearly 160 years, becoming a landmark in the St. Louis community. When first established, it purchased an existing building to create a comfortable alternative to the destitution of the poorhouse, often the only alternative for residents. The Home quickly became a sanctuary for its residents, offering them security, companionship, and assistance. To accommodate increasing numbers of residents and changing standards of aid, the Home periodically expanded its facilities with a succession of ten additions in 1930, 1931, 1934, 1939, 1961, 1963, two c.1980, and two in 1995. As attitudes about the elderly and options for their care evolved through the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Home adapted its facilities to continue to fulfill its mission of providing support and hospitality to those in its charge. The Home enlarged its facilities and added wings dedicated to specific functions in order to meet the needs of the growing number of residents. Likewise, as the role of charitable institutions changed, the Home evolved from a residence into a nursing home, offering enhanced medical care and improved facilities. The Home of the Friendless was the oldest and largest facility in St. Louis to provide a home for elderly women and continued to modify that facility to provide excellent care throughout the period of significance. The period of significance begins in 1853, the date of the Home's founding, and ends in 1965, the fifty-year closing date for periods of significance where activities begun historically continue to have importance but no more specific date can be identified.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria