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Throw Back Tuesday: South Side Day Nursery

South Side Day Nursery has along history in St. Louis. Established in 1886, the original building was at 1621 S. Tenth Street at Julia in Soulard. The building was originally built as the home of Dr. John T. Berghoff in 1851. Dr. Berghoff's pharmacy was built next to the house and demolitions for a playground when the mansion was rented to the city for Carroll School Primary Department in 1874.

Photo: 1621 S.. Tenth Street at Julia in 1945.

The South Side Day Nursery is first day nursery west of the Mississippi and the third one in the U.S. In 1949, the Board of Directors began their search for a new home. The current location would soon be demolished for the Third Street Highway, today's highway 55.

Through the sale of their building at 1621 South Tenth Street, donations, and a $40K gift from the Variety Club of St. Louis, a new $90K South Side Day Nursery was built at 2930 Iowa Ave in Benton Park West.

Photo: Groundbreaking for the new South Side Day Nursery at 2930 Iowa Ave on March 25, 1953.

Wielding the shovel is Edward B. Arthur, Varitey Club Chief Barker and next to him is Ms. Otto Patterson, president of the Board of Directors of the South Side Day Nursery.

Photo: Invitation to the dedication and open house in 1954.

According to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 200 people attended the dedication. The new building would accommodate 50 boys and girls whose mothers needed to work.

Photo: South Side Day Nursery at 2930 Iowa Ave in 1955.

Photo: Actress Joan Crawford visit South Side Day Nursery on November 2, 1955.

South Side Day Nursery moved out of the neighborhood into a new building on Jefferson a few years ago. Today the building is a private residence.

Photo: 2930 Iowa Ave, Google image 2017


Missouri Historical Society

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, "Day Nursery in Search of New Home," September 26, 1949.

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, "100-Year-Old Home Her to be Razed," May 25, 1951.

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, "200 at Dedication of New South Side Day Nursery," May 9, 1954.

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