From Divide to Divine
Delmar Divine – a vision of civic leader Maxine Clark, Clayco CEO Bob Clark, Washington University, IFF, US Bank and Social Innovation STL - will transform nearly 500,000 square feet that today is a vacant former hospital, but for over a century was an innovative provider of compassionate care to people in need. Delmar Divine will be a place for conversation, creativity and collaboration that reflects a 21st century approach to maximizing human and financial capital.
This once in a generation project is being developed, designed and built by Clayco and its fully integrated subsidiaries CRG, a full-service real estate development team, and Lamar Johnson Collaborative, an award-winning architecture and design firm.
We want to enhance growth and investment in this neighborhood. At the same time, we want to do it responsibly so we’re not displacing people or relocating anyone, but bringing prosperity, jobs and the type of development we think will bridge that divide.
The collaboration will result in nonprofit services being more holistic, efficient and evidence based. The Delmar DivINe co-locates outstanding nonprofit organizations, sponsors innovative programs that will benefit the community and region and provides affordable housing for young professionals and leaders in the social sector.
St. Louis has been a divided city from the beginning. In the 1900’s the African American population began to exceed 6% of the total population. A 1916 housing law prevented anyone of a particular race/ethnicity from buying a house in a community where more than 75% of another race/ethnicity lived. This law remained in effect until 1948 when the Supreme Court overturned it.
The Delmar Divine is the biggest piece of the puzzle to closing the divide and catalyzing change. With the opening of the new Everly on the Loop apartment building on Delmar in the East Loop that opened in 2018, St. Louis ArtWorks opened in 2016 and the People’s Children’s Health Clinic in Spring 2017, the Delmar Divine is the centerpiece of advancement already taking root. The Delmar Divine gives St. Louis the chance to turn the tide of history, making the city a living model for neighborhood reimagining for the entire country.
The site of the Delmar DivINe, the former St. Luke’s Hospital, has always been a place committed to the care of its community and its patients. Founded on February 28, 1866 by a group of concerned Episcopalians and joined in ministry by the Presbyterians in 1948, St. Luke’s Hospital is part of the healing ministry of the Episcopal and Presbyterian (USA) churches. After several moves St. Luke’s relocated to the strictly modern hospital building at 5535 Delmar on April 23, 1904 in time for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The E shape design was intentional and strategic and intended to always be the heart of the campus that would be expanded to include a nursing school, dormitories, and a medical office building. The hospital was built for $425,000 an astronomical amount at that time.
Famous St. Louisans such as Henry Shaw, Robert Brookings, Edward Mallinckrodt and Donald Danforth held significant Board positions over the years and were benefactors as St. Luke’s grew and prospered. In 1972 the cornerstone was laid for St. Luke’s West in St. Louis County and formal plans for a second location began in earnest. St. Luke’s operated the East Hospital on Delmar until the early 1980’s after which it became Charter Hospital with the intention to serve the city after the closing of City Hospital and Homer G. Phillips. It subsequently became ConnectCare in 1997, serving as a safety net health facility until it also close at the end of 2013. Its future to serve the St. Louis metro area as a holistic and inclusive community, the Delmar DivINe, is bright.
St. Luke's Hospital
Delmar Divine is a space and a place where we maximize the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of the nonprofit sector in the St. Louis region, especially among health, education and human service organizations, while simultaneously being a catalyst for the transformation of nearby neighborhoods.
The Delmar Divine uniquely maximizes the human and financial capital of St. Louis’ leading social service agencies. It accomplishes this by tapping into resources of St. Louis based national and local social service organizations while attracting new organizations to the area. The Delmar Divine will redefine the West End neighborhood to be a place where St. Louisans want to raise families, send their children to school, work, relax and play.
Built to Live, Work, and Play
Positioned for success, the Delmar Divine is located in the Central Corridor on the Western edge of the City of St. Louis adjacent to Washington University, just minutes from the Delmar Loop. Fifteen minutes away in any direction will take you East to Downtown St. Louis, Southwest to the County Seat of Clayton and Northwest to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Delmar Divine’s neighbors include programs and institutions that are equally devoted to social change and cultural legacy which will amplify its impact. Nearby organizations include Washington University's Brown School of Social Work, Better Family Life, COCA, Craft Alliance, and St. Louis ArtWorks. Learning institutions include Urban Sprouts, University City Children’s Center (UCCC), KIPP Victory, KIPP Triumph Academy, Crossroads College Prep, and LaunchCode.
We want each of our projects to have the opportunity to impact the community around it, but Delmar Divine is special, and we hope that it’s an inspiration to other developers on what happens when you truly invest in the places your company lives and works.
– Chris McKee, Chief Development Officer, CRG
– Bob Clark, Executive Chairman and Founder, Clayco
Delmar Divine is conveniently located next to some of St. Louis’ landmark cultural institutions, including the Missouri History Museum and St. Louis Art Museum. Parks and recreation include Forest Park and St. Vincent’s Greenway. The area is served by a public transportation system and there are bike paths and sidewalks in close proximity to cultural and educational establishments.
The Delmar Divine will transform a neglected part of St. Louis City into a vibrant social venture innovation district and living laboratory of change.
– Sandra Marks, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Clayco
Delmar Divine will transform a section of St. Louis City that has been neglected into a vibrant innovation district while it provides services to the broader community.
For our full press release, visit our Clayco News page here.