New Deal Art and Architecture
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Olin Memorial Health Center, 1939Olin Memorial Health Center, 1939, 1956, 1969
Ralph R. Calder Architect and Associates and
Samuel Cashwan (American, 1899 - 1988)

This PWA building by architect Ralph R. Calder, built in memory of Richard M. Olin, M.D., was considered “modern in every detail.” Although additions to the building were made in 1956 and 1969, the bulky massing, textural variety, and minimalist limestone trim distinguish this building from others nearby. Samuel Cashwan designed the twelve symbolic reliefs that frame the main entryway. He chose the fitting subject of the healing arts, framing the building’s name with two Greek goddesses of health, Panacea and Hygeia. The two pilasters display themes from modern medicine. On the left, in descending order, they are “Medical Magic,” “Diagnosis,” “Anatomy,” “Physiology,” and “Vaccination.” On the right they are “Herbs,” “Microscope,” “Anesthesia,” “X-Ray,” and “Chemistry.”




Kresge Art Museum