Robinson's Neurological Clinic
|Robinson's Neurological Clinic|
|Building Style||Single Building|
|Location||Kansas City, MO|
|Architecture Style||Classic Revival|
At one of the high points of the city, 27th and Paseo, the Christian Church Hospital, constructed of pale yellow brick and stone with massive stone columns above the entrance, opened its doors to the public in April, 1916. It is the last word in hospital architecture; not a detail has been overlooked, said a news story of the day. The $330,000 building had 75 rooms and 150 beds. Speakers at the dedication ceremonies April 9, 1916, were R. A. Long, Dr. George H. Combs, Dr. L. J. Marhall and Dr. Jabez N. Jackson. J. W. Perry was president of the hospital association.
Long, multimillionaire, devoted churchman and philanthropist, had given $200,000 toward building the hospital, and $156,000 was contributed by church members to an endowment fund, the income to insure that one-third of the beds would be used by charity patients, a stipulation in the Long gift. Five years before the hospital was built, Long's plans were more ambitious. He had hoped to make Kansas City the national center of the Christian Church, and toward this end he purchased a 38-acre tract bounded by 17th, 20th, Hardesty and Brighton, at a cost of $95,000. H. F. Hoit, architect, drew elaborate plans for more than a score of church buildings. Church offices and publications, as well as a hospital, were planned.
In the 1920s financial difficulties faced the church-operated hospital and in 1926 an offer was accepted from the veterans' bureau to lease the property for $34,000 a year, as an official Veterans Hospital, housing disabled World War I veterans. Dr. E. J. Rose was installed as medical officer.
Dr. Robert Patterson, a renowned psychiatrist, bought it in 1927 after the U.S. government lease expired. This European-trained doctor used questionable methods to treat patients. In those days, advanced psychiatry included chains, wet sheets, cages, and, according to some legends, the ice pick technique of frontal lobotomies. Doctor Patterson continued using these controversial methods for three decades. In the late 50s, he suddenly developed mental health issues himself, shortly after the hospital closed. The city eventually purchased the hospital and converted it to a facility to hold the criminally insane. In 1975, the city decided it did not want to keep paying for the upkeep of the building, and moved out of it.
It was left vacant for more than three decades until Hoffman Cortes Restoration, a local group, transformed it into The Residences of West Paseo. During the renovation, all the terra-cotta features and exterior masonry were restored. The casement security windows, which were installed in the 1930s, were removed and replaced with reproductions. The waiting rooms and entrance lobby on the second floor have been renovated with new marble walls. Overall, the financing sources of the project cost $11.5 million. In 2007, The Residences of West Paseo won the Preservation Award from the Historic City Foundation.