St. Mark’s Day School

1346 President Street
Ludlow & Peabody

Built as the Hospital of St. Giles the Cripple, this building was constructed at a time when polio and other crippling childhood diseases were at almost epidemic proportions. The hospital, whose original location was on DeGraw Street in Cobble Hill, was founded in 1891 by an Episcopalian nun and was one of the first hospitals dedicated to the orthopedic care and treatment of children. The hospital raised enough money to build a larger facility, and despite initial community opposition, relocated here in 1916. Designed by the prominent firm of Ludlow & Peabody, which specialized in institutional architecture, the Spanish Mission Revival style might have been chosen for its association with sunny and warm climates, in order to inspire its young patients with thoughts of ample light and fresh air. At the charity’s peak in the first half of the 20th century, annexes were also constructed in Long Island and Garden City, New Jersey. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Salk and Sabine vaccines had finally conquered polio, and by the 1970s, orthopedic care was incorporated as a service offered in larger hospitals. Therefore, in 1978, St. Giles closed the hospital and sold the building to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church across the street. The church transformed the building into the St. Mark’s Day School, a parochial school for students from pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade, and the building still operates as such today.