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Charleston, Calhoun Street, Roper Hospital (detail)

Charleston, Calhoun Street, Roper Hospital (detail)
Healing Arts
Details from the 3rd Roper Hospital building, Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC.

This six story building was completed in 1945 on filled land adjacent to the Ashley River marshes on the west side of the Charleston peninsula. It was for years commonly known to the locals as New Roper in order to distinguish it from the older Roper Hospital, originally designed as a teaching hospital across from the Medical College of South Carolina. Both institutions faced Barre Street in downtown Charleston. The second and third Roper Hospitals effectively replaced the first Roper Hospital, originally constructed in the 1850’s and located on Queen Street. That building and the original Medical College were both severely damaged during the earthquake of 1886 and were later abandoned.

A new medical college was to be constructed but not started until after 1900. A replacement and more modern Roper Hospital, largely made possible as a result of significant gifts from the people of Boston, was constructed about 1900 at the corner of Calhoun and Barre Streets. The teaching aspects of the Old Roper were superceded when the Medical College constructed its own hospital in 1950. In 1965 Old Roper, the 2nd hospital in the Roper legacy, was demolished. The new wing effectively became the 3rd Roper. The fourth was constructed immediately to the south of the third in 2006.

The Art Deco details shown here were all but hidden, but not totally lost, with the construction of the fourth and newest Roper Hospital in 2006. The image is believed to be that of Hygeia (also Hygea, Hygia, Hygieia) who was the goddess of health and healing in Greek mythology.

Photo and Text posted: 30 June 2010.
Revised: 24 September 2010.
Copyrights Reserved: hdescopeland

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