Louisville, KY - October 14, 2016 - Physicians of the Greater Louisville Medical Society Foundation recognized the monumental legacy of the city's Old Medical School and saved it from the wrecking ball. Built in 1892, this historic structure, originally the Louisville Medical College at 101 W. Chestnut, was meticulously restored over several decades and will ultimately become an expanded home-away-from-home for families of children receiving treatment at downtown hospitals.
"When a child is hurting, there's no stronger medicine than the love and support of family," said GLMS Foundation President Dr. K. Thomas Reichard, who led the effort to transfer ownership to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana. "The building will serve as an extension of physician care to children while standing as a fitting tribute to Louisville's incredible medical heritage."
RMHCK Executive Director Hal Hedley said, "We are grateful. Close proximity to the downtown medical center is important to the families we serve as we expand our services in the future. Thank you to the doctors for the care they provide to children and for their incredible restoration efforts."
The GLMS Foundation rescued and restored the building after it was abandoned in the 1970s when the University of Louisville built new medical school facilities. Drs. Richard S. Wolf and Robert S. Howell were the primary physicians who oversaw renovations and secured a listing in the National Registry of Historic Places. Many of Louisville's most revered doctors taught and trained inside the halls of this magnificent Romanesque structure, designed by well-known architects Clarke and Loomis.
Dr. Harold Kleinert, who performed the first hand transplant, did surgical research on site. Three super-sized clocks, in honor of Dr. Robert S. Howell, were installed on the bell tower to match original artists renderings when it was the UofL School of Medicine. Dr. Walter S. Coe's legacy is memorialized inside for his contributions including the creation of the first heart catheterization lab in Kentucky. The top floor features the original skylight used to illuminate the school's anatomy lab, now named after Dr. William Martin Christopherson.
During restoration, the Old Medical School has been home to GLMS, and its charitable arm, the GLMS Foundation. Accomplishments include birthing Supplies Over Seas and The Healing Place, scholarships provided to medical students and medical missions conducted locally, regionally, and all over the world. GLMS and the GLMS Foundation are moving operational headquarters to 328 E. Main St.