What Went Up
A Quarter Century of Stories from
Hopkins Medicine, 1976-2001:
Twenty-five years of building changed the campus from late-Victorian to boxy postmodern.
On the first page of that first issue, a lone photo of a building under construction set the tone for what was to come. Over the next quarter-century there would be shovels, hard hats and groundbreakings. There would be frustrating delaysónot to mention changes of heart. Phipps, for instance, would become Houck; then Houck would become Phipps. Through it all, the campus would be transformed from a hodgepodge of late-19th- and early-20th-century buildings into a hodgepodge of late-19th- early-20th and now late-20th- century buildings. Every step of this sometimes tortuous and expensive journey would be chronicled in the pages of HMN.
When that first issue came out in March 1976, the Hospital was three years into a decade-long rebuilding campaign. The Old Nurses Home and Harriet Lane Home had recently been demolished, and the campus was expanding upwards more than outwards with several new, blocky high-rises. That trend would continue with the opening of the first Oncology Center later in the year and, in short order, Nelson and Harvey, the "Teaching Tower" featured on the cover of the magazineís inaugural issue. Along with that tower, the Hospitalís main entrance would move to Wolfe Street instead of Broadway.
A second phase of building began in the early 1980s with the first athletic facility for students, the Cooley Center, and the Pre-Clinical Teaching Building, a featureless edifice of muddy-brown brick that was the polar opposite of its ivy-covered predecessor, the 1894 Anatomy Building (see box). Two more new buildings were dedicated in 1983: Maumenee, a high-rise addition to Wilmer, and the $42 million Adolf Meyer Building, which for the first time put psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery under one roof. "The dedication of Meyer," Dean Richard Ross wrote in the magazine, "marks the end of a 10-year, $150 million campaign."
The mid-1980s saw the construction of the mostly underground MRI building on the site of the Laundry, an 1889 campus original; an office building at 1830 E. Monument St., and Hunterian III, a labs-only high-rise, direct descendant of the original 1905 Hunterian.
The push for more research space was on. Using an oft-repeated mantra, department directors emphasized that without state-of-the-art lab space, it would be impossible to attract "the best quality of faculty." As Richard Starr Ross stepped out of the deanship in 1991, the medical research building wearing his name opened. It was connected to Traylor and by a new bridge across Monument Street to Blalock. "This exemplifies the Hopkins tradition of moving research from the lab to the bedside," said Dean Michael Johns.
But now, attracting patients to the East Baltimore medical complex had become a pressing priority. One enticement would be upscale facilities. As early as 1986, word of an "ambulatory care center" appeared in the pages of the magazine, and in fall 1992, the glitzy, new $140 million Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center was featured prominently. Sumptuous Marburg Pavilion and suburban Green Spring Station became variations on the luxe theme two years later.
Plans to build a new oncology center with every cancer service under one roof had been announced in 1993. But preliminary drawings calling for a six-story structure on the site of the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic provoked an outcry from preservationists who revered the 1913 architectural gem that had housed the storied clinic. Phipps was spared the wrecking ball, but when ground was broken for the new oncology center on the corner of Orleans and Broadway, 400 ancient graves discovered on the site delayed construction considerably.
"Meanwhile, the Cancer Center is still on schedule to be completed in early 1998," the magazine reported. "Word has it that it will wear a historic look that will frame a new entrance to the medical center, setting the tone architecturally for future development."
HMN, it turned out, would be wrong on all counts. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building would not open until September 2000. And, designed as it was to blend with the original Queen Anne-style buildings on Broadway, it hardly set a tone for the future. Just across Broadway, the new Cancer Research Building had, according to the magazineís assessment, a "straightforward, minimalist exterior suggesting the leading-edge look researchers expect."
Lately, HMN has been hinting at whatís to come: A center for women and children, a critical care tower, offices, labs and a new entrance to campusthis one on Orleans Street. The Broadway Research Building, now under construction, will form the new entrance to the School of Medicine. "The creation of new space, Iíve come to appreciate, is one of the most crucial and tricky aspects of administering a large institution," Dean Edward Miller wrote in a Fall 1999 editorial. "Itís been a long, tough haul, and years of fund raising for these expensive new structures still lie ahead. By the end of the next decade, however, I feel certain that Hopkins will have a research and clinical campus worthy of the new millennium."