Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza is one of the jewels in my everyday life. I pass this enchanting place several times a year on the way to medical appointments. I am always grateful to find this pond. Doesn’t matter what the weather is like, this place always offers comfort, hope and peace to the people passing by. It is part of BJC Institute of Health at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Studies, Students, Medical Miracles and Advances are found inside the surrounding buildings. – When the new expansion was planned, this bit of art and natural wonder was created and placed right where all of us would discover it and be lifted in spirit.
The summer resident ducks aren’t here today, but a sense of calm and people with smiles are always close. In winter, the Pond is covered with a thick layer of ice and the walk way will have packed snow. In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter what time of year, there is always stunning beauty in this place.
Hope Plaza is dedicated to Ellen S. Clark, a well loved and respected woman who encouraged others to be their very best. She inherited a rare condition that took her life. She worked tirelessly to offer education and understanding about stem cell research. Even after she’d left this life, her family made sure her work continued.
Ellen S. Clark and her husband worked with designers to offer this gorgeous memorial. Two of the most recognized artists are Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Andrew Gutterman of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. of Boston. There is an eighty foot diameter Infinity Pool, with water flowers in season, ice in its proper time, ducks when they decide to attend, trees and . . Hope.
“It’s designed to be a calm place of refuge in the midst of a bustling medical center,” said Hank S. Webber, an executive vice chancellor at Washington University.
Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza, 320 S, Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110
You don’t need to have an appointment to visit. Get off metrolink at the Central West End, walk up the flight of stairs on the west end of the platform and turn right. You’ll be satisfied with the side trip.