Structure Type: built works - public buildings - hospitals

Designers: Williams, Paul R., FAIA (firm); Paul Revere Williams (architect)

Dates: constructed 1962

262 Danny Thomas Place
Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105


Los Angeles architect Paul R. Williams (1894-1980) designed the original 3-story building at the Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital for Children. Williams had become a friend of the entertainer Danny Thomas (1912-1991) who was a major fundraiser for Saint Jude. Williams also designed Thomas's own residence in Los Angeles.

Building History

Williams began designing Saint Jude in 1959, and the building was dedicated in 1962. The Paul R. Williams Project has described Williams's design: "Williams designed St. Jude as a three level central hub with five radiating wings. The first floor and basement of the hub housed a mix of administrative offices and patient/staff support departments. The second floor was used for staff meeting rooms, patient classrooms and a biomedical library. The library, located over the front entrance, featured small outdoor reading areas where scientists and clinicians could relax as they read. Three of the "wings" were dedicated to research with inpatient rooms that could accomodate only 38 children. As the building was near a major earthquake fault, the structure was engineered to 'resist Zone 3 earthquake damage, the first building in the city to follow uniform building code.' (See Paul R. Williams Project, "St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN," accessed 06/26/2015.) The "major earthquake fault" referred to is the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a major seismic hazard in the Mid-South and Midwest. Four powerful earthquakes during 1811-1812 caused cataclysmic natural alterations and some property damage in the frontier communities then surrounding New Madrid, MO.

PCAD id: 19649