Steiner Clinic

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Steiner ClinicDesignated: Historic Building Exterior
December 12, 1989

62 Butler Street, S.E.
Fronting approx. 50' on the east sideon Butler Street at
the northeast corner of the intersection of Butler and
Armstrong Streets (abandoned)
District 14, Land Lot 52
Existing Zoning SP1-1

Constructed: 1922-24
Architects: Hentz, Reid and Adler

The original Grady Memorial Hospital was located in an area that contained, for the most part, residential structures. A primary consideration for the selection of the site was undoubtedly the close proximity of the Atlanta Medical College.

The Medical College, established by Dr. J. G. Westmoreland, was chartered by the legislature on February 14, 1854, and the first lectures were held in City Hall. However, by June 21, 1855, a large brick building had been constructed on the northwest corner of Butler and Armstrong Streets. Maps from 1871 show the structure surrounded by residences and undeveloped land.

By 1892, the Grady Hospital building appears on a birdseye map. To the west and to the north, along Edgewood Avenue, a few commercial structures have appeared. In later years, both the medical facilities and commercial structures expanded. Hospital records reflect the purchase by the city of the remaining residences on the block in 1912.

Patients were transported to the hospital by a rubber wheeled, horse drawn ambulance. It was in 1911 that the hospital purchased it's first motorized ambulance from the White Motor Company. The development of the Edgewood Street Railway by Joel Hunt made the hospital more accessible to patients and visitors, as did the much later development of the adjacent expressway system. Many patients walked to the clinics from the neighborhoods located in the Old Fourth Ward to the north.


It is difficult to conceive of a time when Atlanta had only one private hospital of any substantial size (St. Joseph's Infirmary, founded 1880), no municipal hospital, and no adequate facility that would treat the City's indigent citizens. Henry Woodfin Grady, the great spokesman for the "New South," had long advocated the establishment of a municipal hospital.

The establishment of the hospital partially resulted from a movement that began when the Atlanta Benevolent Home was turned over to a board of trustees in 1881. Shortly thereafter, the board met to decide its dissolution in order to secure "a wider field for doing good." Any new facility was to remain free of religious affiliation. In 1884 the board met to prepare for the sale of the home and to join the movement for a city supported hospital. A lawsuit later arose over closing the home, which in 1887 lacked funds to even open. By early 1890, all parties agreed to deed the Atlanta Benevolent Home property to the city so that it could be sold to support the hospital effort.

Following Henry Grady's death in December of 1889, Councilman Joseph Hirsch introduced a resolution to the Atlanta City Council providing for the establishment of a hospital in commemoration of Grady. The Council appropriated $30,000 and appointed Mr. Hirsch to head a committee to secure the rest of the funds. By mid-September of 1890, a lot on Butler Street was bought and graded. The approximately four acre lot was purchased from Col. L. P. Grant, who had given the city the 100 acres of land for Grant Park in 1882. The price was $13,500, but upon hearing the purpose for the purchase, Col. Grant returned $1,000 as a contribution to the new hospital.

On December 23, 1890, the cornerstone was laid with "impressive" Masonic ceremonies, a Zouave band, and an address by Mayor John T. Glenn. The Board of Trustees headed by Joseph Hirsch and the Building Committee chaired by Capt. J. W. English had selected Gardner, Pyne and Gardner as the architects. On May 25, 1892, the building was dedicated and on June 1, 1892, the first patients arrived.

Once established. Grady Hospital continually expanded. By 1912, when the second Grady Hospital (Butler Hall) was constructed, the hospital owned all of the block except a small parcel facing Armstrong Street. Two wards for male and female white patients, two wards for male and female black patients, a children's ward, a maternity ward, a laundry and kitchen had been constructed. All were connected by a series of extended corridors. A small morgue and a nurses home were also located on the property.

The first Grady Hospital maintained separate black and white wards, but with the advent of Jim Crow laws after the turn-of-the-century, separate hospital structures were built. At the time that the second Grady Hospital was constructed in 1912, a separate black hospital was established on the site of the old Atlanta Medical College at Armstrong and Butler. That first black hospital, an imposing brick edifice, has unfortunately been demolished.

There were four distinct periods in the administration and funding of Grady Hospital. The institution was under the authority of a lay Board of Trustees from 1892 to 1921. During this period, the hospital was funded by the City and relied heavily on private fundraising and bequests from concerned citizens for its expansion programs. Between 1921 and 1931, the facility was under a politically appointed Council committee, whose members were subject to annual replacement. Local revenues remained the only source of official funding for the facility during this era. The third period of administration was marked by the re-establishment of a citizens Board of Trustees in 1931. Federal funds were available to the hospital for the first time during this period. In 1945 the Fulton/DeKalb Hospital Authority assumed the active management of all municipal hospital facilities. The counties now using the facilities have assumed a portion of the expense for running Grady.

An important highlight in the history of the hospital was the establishment of the Grady Hospital Training School for Nurses. Chartered on March 25, 1898, the school was the first of its kind in the state. Grady has also been for years the principal teaching hospital of the Emory University School of Medicine. More recently, it has also become the teaching hospital for the Morehouse School of Medicine. Medical progress at Grady was marked by the introduction of new technology and therapeutics soon after their acceptance by the American medical community. Among the innovations adopted by Grady were the x-ray machine, diet therapy following discoveries in nutrition research, safe blood transfusions after the perfecting of blood typing, sulfa drugs, and the establishment of a blood bank.


Henry Grady a native of Athens, Georgia, moved to Atlanta in 1872 from Rome, where he was editor of the Rome Daily newspaper. He became the editor and part owner (with Alexander St. Clair-Abrams and Robert A. Alston) of the Atlanta Daily Herald. This paper, the rival of the Atlanta Constitution, lasted for four years. It was in a March 14, 1874 editorial in the Herald that Grady first used the term "New South".

A charming and perceptive man, as well as a great orator, Grady went on to become the legendary editor of the Atlanta Constitution (1879-1889). He was an outstanding reporter, who promoted harmony between the North and South and encouraged industrialization and economic independence for the South. He was a great sports fan who did more than anyone else in the region to establish Southern baseball on a popular basis. He established the philosophy and direction that the city of Atlanta has followed since the days of Reconstruction. Grady died at the age of 39 on December 23, 1889.


Funds from the estate of Albert Steiner allowed Grady Memorial Hospital to add this structure in 1922. The Steiner Clinic was dedicated to the research, study and special treatment of cancer and other allied diseases. This structure reflects the Renaissance Revival Style. It is a straight fronted, symmetrical building with quoins bracketing the corners of the main facade. It is divided into three distinct levels by stringcourses and is topped by a heavy cornice. The sash windows are pedimented. The most outstanding feature of the structure is the doorway. Although the pedimented entranceway is quite severe in its design, the graceful steps which flow out from the doorway to the sidewalk reflect the designs found in Italian villas and are unique in such an urban setting.


Hentz, Reid and Adler was the architectural firm responsible for the Steiner Clinic. The principal designer for the firm was Neel Reid (1885-1926). Reid was born in Jacksonville, Alabama, but moved to Macon, Georgia with his family in 1903. After completing high school and apprenticing in the office of a Macon architect, he came to Atlanta in 1904 to the office of Willis Franklin Denny. With his future partner, Hal Hentz, Neel Reid then went to the Columbia University's School of Architecture and from there to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Both men returned to Atlanta in 1909 and briefly practiced with G. L. Norrman. From 1909 until 1912, they practiced as Hentz and Reid. From 1913 until 1926, the firm consisted of Hentz, Reid, Adler and Shutze (Rudolph Adler and Philip Trammell Shutze). It was Shutze who inherited the position as principal designer after Reid's premature death in 1926. The firm's trademark was a preference for classical and Renaissance Revival styles. Other structures designed by Neel Reid include the Southern School Book Depository (Apex Museum) on Auburn Avenue, the Brookwood Station and numerous fine residences in the Druid Hills and West Paces neighborhoods.


Atlanta Journal and Constitution Magazine, March 8, 1914, pg. 7.

Birds Eye View of Atlanta, 1892.

Birds Eye View of Atlanta, 1871.

City Builder, Vol 9, #2, April, 1924, pg. 30.

Garrett, Franklin. Atlanta and Environs, 1954.

The Grady News, January 1967, Special Edition honoring the 75th Anniversary. Grady Hospital, Mss. 429, Atlanta Historical Society.

Granberry, Allen D. "Grady Memorial Hospital: The First Fifty Years, 1892-1942." M.A. Thesis, Georgia State University, 1989.

Grinnell, David A. and Renny Price. Draft National Register Nomination and additional research.

Handlin, David P. The American Home. 1979.

Hopkins, C. M. "City Atlas of Atlanta, Georgia," 1878.

The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, Vol.29. no. 3. "Early Medical History of Georgia and Savannah Hospitals." March 1940.

Sanborn Maps, Atlanta Historical Society.

(criteria descriptions)

Group I (1) (2) (3)
Group II (1) (3) (6) (7) (9) (10) (11)
Group III (1) (2) (3)


The proposed nomination of Steiner Clinic meets the above-referenced criteria for a Historic Building or Site as set out in Section 16-20.004 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Atlanta.

Contact Info
City of Atlanta
Atlanta Urban Design Commission
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 3400
Atlanta, Georgia 30335-0331

Tel: 404.330.6200
Fax: 404.658.6734

Doug Young


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