Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children

Red brick building with gothic door arch and towers on either side.

Quick Facts

Location:
700-728 South Euclid Avenue and 4565 Clayton Avenue, St. Louis, MO
Significance:
Health/Medicine
Designation:
National Register of Historic Places
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
No
The Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children located at 700-728 South Euclid and 4565 Clayton Avenues in St. Louis (Independent City), Missouri, is eligible for local listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) under Criterion A in HEALTH/MEDICINE. Constructed in 1924 as the first Shriners' Hospital in Missouri, one of seventeen such early hospitals in the country, the building was the largest and most centrally-located unit of the Shriners' Hospital system. Two subsequent buildings comprised of a separate nurses' home and a classroom addition completed the complex in 1928. The Shriners' was among the first specialized orthopedic hospitals where services were provided to children free of charge; the St. Louis location served as a major center for the study and research development in the treatment of physically challenged children. 

To further its cause, the hospital also provided education in the field to train nurses; a separate nurse's home provided on site occupancy. The research work and instruction for all of the Shriners' hospitals was conducted in the St. Louis hospital. Important medical advancements such as the first successful operation concerning the lengthening of a leg and the earliest attempt at skeletal traction to correct congenital dislocation of the hip were conducted in the hospital in 1924 and 1930 respectively. Revolutionary during the time, these efforts helped lay the foundation for surgical advancement concerning spinal injuries as well as effectively treating broken bones.