Friday, March 26, 2010

Lost (& Found): Mount Providence School for Boys

I became rather interested in looking at "lost" Catholic St. Louis for a couple different reasons, some of which I've already discussed.  An additional reason is because of one of the regular commenters, p. finley.  He mentioned that to fix an interstate exchange, they tore down his school and all that was left was the bell tower (It's a cupola BTW).  Since the property is adjacent to UM-St. Louis, I was intrigued.  I don't ever recall seeing the building or the tower.  I have spent the last 4 months, every time I was on that part of campus looking for it.  I finally did find it, but taking a picture of it has been a challenge.

8351 Florissant Rd, St Louis, MO 63121
(If you map it, move up the hill, behind the apartment buildings)
This is the image from bing.
I-70 borders one side.
High fences border the rest.
You can see it from the Interstate..
esp. I-70 W the Florissant Exit.
Not exactly safe photography conditions.

Finally success!  I was at McDonalds (sorry Jenny) and I looked and saw the tower.  I then realized I could get a semi-decent picture from the parking lot of the Cool Valley City Hall.

The wide view.

The limits of the digital zoom on my camera.

Sisters of Divine Providence History (has a pic of school)
Final History from Dykon Blasting Co.


  1. You can see the school from the air in Google Earth if you enable historical imagery (the icon of the little clock) and slide it back to 1996.

    Also, I can't tell from Google Earth how torn-up the area still is, but it looks like you could theoretically park at the Normandy Trace apartments and walk over to the tower.

  2. You might want to remove the March 27 "mystery comment." I ran it through Google Translate, and it seems to be from a Japanese porn site. :-)

  3. Poletime...there's a fence. I tried from the apartments UMSL owns Mansion Hill. it. I'm considering turning comment moderation on....

  4. This really warms my heart seeing this. I am an alumni of Mt Providence. The School originall had 4 above ground floors, 3 below .

    It was at once all boys, with a highschool. Then it was simply a boarding school 1-8, then I think maybe 1986 they allowed girls to start attending (it had stopped being a boarding school in 82)

    It was still very much select when I went there - You had to be accepted to be allowed to go, and it involved a placement test, though I think towards the end, they laxed up on the requirements (hey, had to kepe the lights on)

    It was over 70 years old when torn down , and was a Mother House for the Sisters of Divine Providence in this area.

    we had a MAGNIFICENT Chapel which would have been worthy of a view from the back pew. Lots of memories of there.

    Thanks Snup for posting this...Cant believe I missed it earlier!!

  5. I remember attending the annual picnics at the Mount. I remember rambling all about the place. Used to be a few dog kennels on the property & I recall a huge Great Dane as sweet as pie allowed to wander the Mount. Remember the chapal & looking at the relics. Remember going to a midnight xmas Mass also. Some of my fondest childhood memories are there.

  6. I also have fond childhood memories. Sister Sophie Marie, Sister Mary Stephens, Sister Maureen..... I remember the Great Danes also. The baseball field up near the cemetery. I remember the Pavilion, Gym, swimming pool for the nuns. The Chapel was beautiful and that is where I received my First Communion. I took the bus everyday to and from Florissant. Sister Maureen let us watch the 1968 World Series with the Cardinals vs Detroit during class. If anyone has old pictures would love to see them. Thanks.

  7. oh wow,I havent thought about Mt Providence in YEARS.I went there for 1 year back in the early 80`s.wish I knew how to get in touch my some of the Nuns who were teachers.

  8. I too have fond memories of Mt. Providence. I went to grade school there from 1951 to 1959 when it was an all boys boarding school. I can remember Sister Mary Aloysius playing baseball right along with us. We were constantly getting into trouble for sneaking off of the property to walk along the railroad tracks nearby. The dining hall was in the basement and there was a tunnel connecting where the nuns stayed and the main schoolhouse and boys dorm. I will never forget the great times at Mt. Providence.

    James McBee

  9. II went there for the school year 79-80, seventh grade, Sister Aurelia, I lived as a boarding student from Mexico, so nice memories, almost a tear runs from my eye to see it gone

    Alejandro Garcia

  10. I spent a year, 79.80, seventh grade, Sister Aurelia, living as a boarding student from Mexico, great memories, so sad to see it gone
    Alejandro Garcia

  11. I boarded in early 70s my 3rd and 4th grades. My teacher Barbara my 3rd grade