Hospital Interiors

The facilities have changed as old hospitals and pavilions now transform in to the medical center that we walk around and through every day. As we walk around the campus, a careful look at these familiar buildings can open our eyes to the history that is all around us.

A view of the original plans for the Albert Merritt Billings hospital is revealing and instructive of the many ways that the practice of medicine has changed in less than 90 years. The original hospital blue print demonstrated a four-sided facility with medicine surgery pathology and hospital administration surrounding a courtyard. The familiar A, S, M and P corridors are the residua of that plan.

Pictures of the hospital rooms throughout the years show dramatic changes. Original rooms displayed a homelike environment. The rooms of the 1950s and 60s show a more aseptic medical facility. The most modern iteration is of almost a hotel like room. The original Bobs Roberts children's hospital boasted a dramatic mural of the Winken Blinken and Nod and the lobby of the original Lying in Hospital still has a beautiful mosaic welcoming women during their stages of "confinement." Pictures of the nurses in their uniforms add to this homey feel.

A drawing of a large symmetric building with four courtyards.
Proposed Plan for the University of Chicago's New Medical School on the Midway

Photographic Archive. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Identifier: apf2-03578.

Four images, side by side, of fairytale scenes (a castle, a knight slaying a dragon, wizards, and unicorns).
Mural in Reception Lobby, Bobs Roberts Hospital

Photographic Archive. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Identifier: apf2-00937.

A large, nearly empty room with a painting of an elephant on the wall.
Solarium, Hicks-McElwee Hospital

Photographic Archive. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Identifier: apf2-03497.

A nurse speaks to a boy sitting on a hospital bed; both wear dark goggles.
Eye Therapy, Bobs Roberts Hospital

Photographic Archive. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Identifier: apf2-00957.