I happened to be in Cape when the old St. Francis Hospital was reduced to a pile of rubble in September of 2000. Somewhere, filed with my Florida film, are photos I took inside the hospital after it closed, but before it was razed. They’ll surface one of these days.
St. Francis Annexation
I ran across this Missourian ad from Sept. 2, 1967 calling out the vote for the St. Francis annexation. I’m assuming that was to annex the space where the present hospital complex is near William St. and Mt. Auburn Rd.
New Hospital under construction
I shot this aerial of the new St. Francis Hospital under construction some time in the mid-70s, as best as I can guess. I had a hard time figuring out what the building was based on how it looks today.
When I called up a Google Earth shot, I could see this building buried in layer after layer of additions.
St. Francis site today
The Fort Hope Apartments occupy the old hospital’s space today.The low-income housing development was built in 2001. A Missourian story in 2004 said that single tenants at Fort Hope must make less than $23,040 a year. The income for a family of four must be no more than $32,880 a year. Monthly rents range from $240 for a single-bedroom apartment to $355 for a three-bedroom apartment.
Restricted access and no-nonsense management is credited for the complex being reasonably crime-free and well-maintained in an area known for problems.
Old St. Francis neighborhood
The small, orange-colored building on Good Hope across from the Fort Hope Apartments is the infamous office of Dr. Herbert, the man who gave me a wooden stick phobia. It was painted white in my generation’s day. The family living there now knew nothing about the building’s past.
Other St. Francis neighborhood stories
Here are links to several stories touching on the hospital and the neighborhood.
- Vintage photos of a “Nun Circus,” including photos of the grotto behind the hospital.
- Photos of a college girl working in the hospital laundry in 1967.
- Dr. Herbert is the reason I can’t eat Popsicles. Anyone who grew up in that era will know immediately what I’m talking about.
- Farmers and Merchants Bank
- Cape Salvation Army, which replaced Farmers and Merchants
- Meyer / Suedekum Hardware store
St. Francis Photo Gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.