Charles T. Miller Hospital, 125 College Avenue West, Saint Paul, Minnesota (Razed)

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Charles T. Miller Hospital

Miller Hospital ca. 1925
Address: 125 College Avenue W
City/locality-
State/province
Saint Paul, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1918-1920
Primary Style: Neoclassical
Additions: One floor added in 1941, east wing added 1952-53, one more floor added to main building in 1952.
Historic Function: Hospital
Architect or source of design: Clarence H. Johnston, Sr.
Builder: George J. Grant Construction Co.
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Building Permit Number: 75159 (1919)

Saint Paul Ramsey County

Charles T. Miller Hospital, 125 College Avenue West, Saint Paul, Minnesota (Razed)
(44.946576415732° N, 93.105869293213° WLatitude: 44°56′47.675″N
Longitude: 93°6′21.129″W
)


Contents

History

Background
The Charles T. Miller Hospital was built in 1918-1920 with funding by the estate of Martha Miller (1841-1915), who had left 400,000 dollars in her will for the construction of a hospital, fulfilling the wishes of her and her husband, Charles T. Miller (1835-1910) a partner in a Hay and Feed commission business. Miller Hospital provided free and lower-than-cost care to those in need while Wilder Dispensary, established on the Miller campus in 1924, served as an out-patient clinic for low-income patients. According to the book Traditions United, in the first four years of the hospital’s operation, 21 percent of patients at Miller received free care (page 67). Trustees considered free care a way for patients to “help themselves” reasoning that affordable and free medical care would enable patients to “return to work and become self-supporting” (Traditions United, page 67) However, Miller Hospital came to be considered an exclusive hospital as it treated many of St. Paul's wealthiest residents. Private rooms could be furnished according to patients’ desires with one wealthy patient bringing a four-poster, mahogany bed into his room. Moreover, a dietitian recalls serving champagne and cocktails to patients. In 1921, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s daughter, Scottie, was born in the hospital.
Minnesota Blue Cross Insurance
During the Great Depression, many of Miller Hospital's private beds were left unoccupied and whole floors of private beds were closed as those in the middle class who did not qualify for Miller’s free care found it difficult to pay hospital bills. In response, Dr. Peter Ward and the Miller Hospital helped establish the Minnesota Blue Cross Insurance plan. Instead of paying per visit, those enrolled in the plan would pay a monthly fee, which entitled them to hospital care when they needed. This plan was one of the first prepaid hospital insurance plans in the nation (Historic Sites Survey of Saint Paul).
Nursing School

A nurses’ training program was established in Miller in 1921 as part of the University of Minnesota’s Central School of Nursing and in 1931, Summit Hall was built to provide housing for the nurses. According to the Historic Sites Survey of Saint Paul, the Cadet Nurse Corps, a federally sponsored program to train nurses during WWII, was established at Miller in 1943 to help meet the wartime need for more nurses. In 1944-45, College Hall was constructed to provide educational and residential faculties for the students.

Merger
In 1972, Miller Hospital merged with St. Luke’s Hospital to become United Hospital, located at the St. Luke’s campus on Smith Avenue in St. Paul. Both Miller and St. Luke’s had been treating fewer patients and the construction of interstates 35E and 94 limited access to Miller Hospital. By 1980, the merger was complete and Miller Hospital was vacated. The abandoned hospital was intended to be converted into apartments and condominiums though the plan was never completed and in 1986, the buildings of the Miller Hospital were demolished. The former site of the Miller Hospital now houses the Minnesota History Center, which was completed in 1992.

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Boulevard West, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Notes

1.Grossman, Mary Ann. "Getting Gatsby." St. Paul Pioneer Press, 16 July 2006, page E7.
2. Johnston Hall, Nancy and Bround Smith, Mary. Traditions United. United Hospital Foundation: Saint Paul, 1987.
3. Kahn, Aron. "State's First Hospital Born Amid Cholera Crisis In 1853." St. Paul Pioneer Press, 09 August 1996, page 6A.
4. Minnesota Historical Society. United Hospital: An Inventory of Its Records at the Minnesota Historical Society, History of United Hospital. [1]
5. Ramsey County Historical Society, Inventory forms for Historic Sites Survey of St. Paul and Ramsey County, 1980-1983.
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[http://discussions.mnhs.org/HP/oneonone.cfm snubnosed]