Ripley Memorial Maternity Hospital, 301 Penn Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Ripley Memorial Maternity Hospital

Ripley Memorial Maternity Hospital
Dr. Martha G. Ripley
Address: 301 Penn Avenue N
Neighborhood/s: warning.png"Harrison, {{{city-locality}}}, Minnesota" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1914
Historic Function: Hospital
Current Function: Apartments/condominiums
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick



[[Category:Buildings in {{{city-locality}}}, Minnesota]]
National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 80002069

Martha Ripley (1843-1912) moved to Minneapolis in 1883 after her husband was injured and lost his job in a Massachusetts’ textile mill.

Shortly after her arrival in Minneapolis, Ripley was elected president of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association, a new affiliate of the American Women Suffrage Association (AWSA) led by Ripley’s Massachusetts friends, Henry Blackwell and Lucy Stone. Drawing on her Boston connections, she brought the seventeenth annual convention of the AWSA to Minneapolis in 1885.

Ripley Hospital for Women (known until 1955 as Maternity Hospital) was founded by Dr. Martha G. Ripley in November 1866 (incorporated in July 1887) as a facility for unmarried women and needy married women. The institution also helped to place those children given up by their mothers for adoption.

Her first maternity hospital was located at 316 15th Street South in Minneapolis. The next location was a house at 2529 4th Avenue South. In 1896, Ripley purchased the house and land of A.T. Ankeny, located on five acres on the corner of Glenwood (Western) and Penn Avenues North.

The Maternity Hospital’s track record was remarkably successful. Dr. Ripley insisted on aseptic practices and a cottage system (picture) in which babies were cared for in domestic settings. Not one child was lost during actual birth in the first eleven years, and for the decade ending in 1937 the maternal death rate was 1.35 per thousand as compared to a state-wide average of 4.5. The hospital was the first to allow mothers and infants to room together. Ripley lectured on obstetrics and pediatrics in medical colleges in Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.

A new building for the Maternity Hospital was constructed shortly after Ripley’s death in 1912. When completed in 1915 the building was named The Martha G. Ripley Memorial Maternity hospital. Ripley's ashes were laid in the cornerstone. Three of the original buildings remain on the site: Ripley Memorial Hospital, Emily Paddock Cottage and the Babies' Bungalow at 2215 Western Avenue (now 301 Penn Avenue North)

The hospital closed in 1956. The buildings were sold to Children's Hospital and the assets retained to create the Ripley Memorial Foundation, which would provide financial support for activitees and agencies that promoted the welfare of women and children, particularly expectant women, as well as single mothers and their children. The Queen Care Nursing Home used the buildings until 2000.

The buildings remained vacant until 2006 when Aeon, a non-profit developer of affordable housing, purchased and converted the hospital and its cottages to housing.

Aeon's Ripley Gardens project won numerous awards:

2009 “National Award of Excellence for Sustainable Community Development,” presented to both Aeon and the City of Minneapolis, by The Home Depot Foundation
2008 “Top Project Award” from Finance and Commerce
2008 “Merit Award” for Ripley Gardens from American Institute of Architects Minnesota
2008 “Adaptive Reuse Project” Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards
2008 “Environmental Initiative Award Finalist: Green Building and Development”from the Minnesota Environmental Initiative
2007 “Best Community Impact Award” from Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
2007 “Economic Impact Award” from the Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Women (MN CREW)


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Pioneer Doctor and Social Reformer


Aeon - Ripley Gardens


Ripley Gardens City of Minneapolis

National Register listing


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