Views of the Texas Medical Center

 

From even before its founding, up to the present day, the Texas Medical Center (TMC) has formed an important part of Houston's history. It has shaped the city's landscape, as well as its place in the world. Commercial photographers Frank Schlueter and Joseph Litterst captured images of Hermann Hospital, whose founding predates the modern Texas Medical Center. Later photographers would take to the skies to document the growing Texas Medical Center complex as Houston itself grew. Newspapers like the Houston Post and Houston Press also documented the Texas Medical Center's buildings and its place in Houston. The work of these and other photographers is preserved in HMRC's photography archives. In addition, HMRC's Oral History Collection includes interviews with leading figures who helped move the Texas Medical Center forward, while KHOU news reels provide further accounts and context. Let's take a look at some of the photographs and recordings in HMRC's archives that help tell the story of this important Houston institution. 

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Views of the Buildings

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Black and White Photograph of Hermann Hospital Building circa 1930, by Litterst-Dixon Commercial Photographers Hermann Hospital, approximately 1930
This image was produced by Houston's Litterst Commercial Photography Company. Hermann Hospital opened in 1925, well before the rest of the TMC.
MSS0100-902, Entrance and statute at Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas, Schlueter, Frank L. Entrance and statue at Hermann Hospital, undated
Houston's Frank Schlueter captured this image of the entrance to Hermann Hospital.
Photo of Nurses' Home at Hermann Hospital, Houston Press, November 1941 Nurses Home at Hermann Hospital, November, 1941
The archives of the Houston Press provide this photo of the Nurses Home at Hermann Hospital.
New Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas "New Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas," approximately 1951
This image comes from HMRC's Postcard Collection. While the postcard itself is undated, this facility was "new" in 1951.
MSS0187-0620 ,  Baylor Medical School main entrance, American Post Card Co., Houston, Texas Postcard Collection Baylor Medical School main entrance, undated
Also a part of HMRC's Postcard Collection, this image was taken by commercial photographer Jack Stiles. Baylor's TMC facility opened in 1947. HMRC also has a collection of photos by Stiles.
MSS0287-M-112, Night aerial photograph of the Medical Towers building. Harper Leiper Collection Medical Towers building at night
Commercial photographer Harper Leiper captured this image of the Medical Towers Building. The building, which added office capacity, was completed in 1957.

Aerial Views of the Texas Medical Center

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MSS0334-0826 Aerial view of Hermann Park esplanade, looking southwest; Hermann Hospital is visible in the background.  J. Milton Lawless Collection, undated Hermann Park esplanade, undated
Standing alone, Hermann Hospital is just visible in the background of this photograph looking southwest across the Hermann Park espanade. It comes from the J. Milton Lawless Collection.
Aerial of medical center, Rice, and Shamrock Hotel, looking northeast, March 22, 1949 March 22, 1949
Directing the viewer's attention northeast, this aerial photograph shows the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, and the Shamrock Hotel. It was taken by Robert L. Browning.
Aerial of TMC buildings, looking northeast towards Rice University, April 6, 1949 April 6, 1949
Browning shot this aerial view of Texas Medical Center buildings, looking northeast towards Rice University.
Aerial of TMC buildings, looking southwest, April 6, 1949 April 6, 1949
On the same flight, Browning also captured this aerial view of the Texas Medical Center buildings looking southwest.
Aerial photograph of Texas Medical Center, including the Prudential Building under construction. 1950s
This aerial photograph from the Leopold Meyer Papers shows the Texas Medical Center, including the Prudential Building under construction. Meyer was President of Texas Children’s Hospital from 1952 to 1972.
Aerial Photo showing View of Rice University and Medical Center, Houston Post, 1959 https://cdm17006.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/images/id/9275 1959
This aerial view of the Texas Medical Center was taken for the Houston Post newspaper.
RGD0006-1433 Aerial photograph of Texas Medical Center Houston Post April 24, 1960 April 24, 1960
The Houston Post also captured this aerial view of the Texas Medical Center.
RGD0006-01429, Aerial photograph of the Texas Medical Center, Houston Post Undated
Returning to this frequent subject, the Houston Post also provides this aerial view of the Texas Medical Center.
Fannin Street Bridge over Brays Bayou, Houston Post, March 26, 1963 1963
Besides the medical facilities themselves, the Texas Medical Center has also had an impact on Houston's larger built environment. This Houston Post photograph shows the Fannin Street Bridge over Brays Bayou.

In addition to photographs, HMRC also has Oral Histories that help tell the story of the Texas Medical Center. 

 

These Oral Histories include interviews with physicians and other major figures in the history and development of the Medical Center. For example: 

Dr. Kelsey explains how the Houston Medical Center came to be created. Dr. Kelsey discusses Dr. E.W. Bertner, who started the Houston Medical Center; Dr. Kelsey also discusses how, together with Dr. Bill Seybold and Dr. Bill Leary, he started the Kelseys, Leary, Seybold Clinic.

 

Dr. Denton Cooley
Dr. Cooley discusses his family history and career as a pioneering heart surgeon. A world renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Cooley who pioneered many techniques used in cardiovascular surgery including the first successful human heart transplant and the first artificial heart implant. He went on to found the Texas Heart Institute which also included the School of Surgery to train young doctors.Ralph Fiegen

 

Dr. Ralph Feigin, a renowned pediatrician and an advocate of children's health and welfare, examines his life as a pediatrician in Houston, his medical training, and his time as Physician-in-Chief at the Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Feigin was instrumental in shaping the expansion of the Texas Children's Hospital into the largest children's hospital in the United States

 

Among many other endeavours, Leopold Meyer served as President of Texas Children’s Hospital from 1952 to 1972. Meyer worked several jobs before being hired by the Foley Brothers, where he quickly worked his way up to the position of executive vice president. Meyer owned a small retail chain with his brothers, and served as President of both the Houston chapter of the Retail Credit Merchant’s Association and the National Retail Credit Association (in the 1920s and 1940s). He organized Friends of the Library of the University of Houston and supported a number of other charitable and cultural causes in the city.

 

The KHOU News Collection also features coverage of Texas Medical Center. 

 

Additional Resources

You can see more of the Texas Medical Center in HMRC's Image Collections by visiting our Digital Archives and searching for "Texas Medical Center." 

For more on the history of the Texas Medical Center, visit their website: https://www.tmc.edu/about-tmc/history/ or reach out to the archivists at the McGovern Historical Center: https://library.tmc.edu/mcgovern/ . 

 

Image Credits:

MSS1248-2077, Hermann Hospital building, Litterst-Dixon Commercial Photographers, Circa 1930
 
MSS0100-902, Entrance and statue at Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas, Schlueter, Frank L.
 
RGD0005-f1031-003, Nurses' home at Hermann Hospital, Houston Press, November 1941
 
MSS0187-0618, New Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, Postcard Collection, circa 1951
 
MSS0187-0620 , Baylor Medical School main entrance, American Post Card Co., Jack Stiles, Postcard Collection, undated
 
MSS0287-M-112, Night aerial photograph of the Medical Towers building, Harper Leiper Collection, undated
 
MSS0334-0826, Aerial view of Hermann Park esplanade, looking southwest, J. Milton Lawless Collection, undated
 
MSS1220-1242-6, Aerial of medical center, Rice, and Shamrock Hotel, looking northeast, Robert L. Browning, March 22, 1949 
 
MSS1220-1246-5, Aerial of TMC buildings, looking northeast towards Rice University, Robert L. Browning, April 6, 1949
 
MSS1220-1246-6, Aerial of TMC buildings, looking southwest, Robert L. Browning, April 6, 1949
 
MSS0067-0742, aerial photograph of Texas Medical Center, including the Prudential Building under construction., Leopold Meyer Papers
 
RGD0006N-1959-4600-1, Rice University Aerial, View of medical center, Houston Post, 1959
 
RGD0006-1433 Aerial of Texas Medical Center, Houston Post, April 24, 1960
 
RGD0006-01429, Aerial photograph of the Texas Medical Center, Houston Post, undated
 
RGD0006N-1963-548-2, Fannin Streeet Bridge over Brays Bayou, Houston Post, March 26, 1963
 
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