One of the cool things about my job at Mental Health America is coming and going from our amazing building on South Grand at Shaw. There’s just something neat about an old house. The outside really pushes a person to think about what’s inside. Once the home for lumber baron Erastus Warner and his family, the Warner Mansion was built with loving detail.
More than a hundred years have gone by, and we have the unique privilege of owning this historic home.
Theodore Link, one of St. Louis’s once-busiest and most stylized architects, designed the Victorian-style mansion in the late 1880s. We know Link as the architect for Union Station. While Link took care of the structure, Erastus’ work in the lumber industry can be found in the beautiful woodwork that decorates the inside of the building. The grand staircase was hand-carved in Germany. Large flowers, similar to daisies, are incorporated in the staircase and all throughout the house.
The house and its surroundings have undergone a lot of changes over the years. We like being tied to an old St. Louis neighborhood, in what was known as the Tyler Place subdivision (named for owner Mary Tyler). Our building has been a funeral home and livery, as well as a storage area. Chain gas stations and fast-food restaurants have sought to buy it. Hospitals and medical schools came to the rescue, the most recent being Comprehensive Care Corporation in 1983. In 1994, MHA bought the house. Now, we enjoy the interesting Shaw neighborhood, right on the edge of St. Louis University. The area has become a mix of students and young people just starting out, as well as families who enjoy a deep history here.
The Warner mansion has special meaning to us as staff at MHA. Just driving up in the morning, walking up the grand staircase, makes us feel like we’re part of something interesting. A building is just a building. What is inside makes the house a home. Inside you can find laughter, happiness and teamwork. We regularly reach out to people in the community and make them feel heard, cared for and important. We equip people from all neighborhoods to make positive changes for mental wellness. We offer more and more education programs. People call us for information.
This home would make Erastus proud. It’s filled each day with care and compassion. We invite you to step inside and learn more about us.