ST. LOUIS – The first thing a guest will notice at the new American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, besides the machine that takes your temperature, is a wide-open building with a lot of light.
“It’s a new building to us at Hope Lodge,” says Charles Cummings, the lodge’s senior manager. “However, this was our old administrative building that we saw fit to renovate and gut it to its bones and build it back out.”
From a place to put your groceries whether dry goods, refrigerated or frozen; to a place to rest your head.
Peace of mind was top of mind for the redesign of the Hope Lodge.
“This is the dining area because the guests, when they come, are coming to a home away from home, so they’re preparing their own meals,” says Cummings. “This is the fourth-floor balcony where guests can come out and enjoy the fresh air out from their rooms.”
The two-year, $10 million project brought their building off Lindell Boulevard in the Central West End into a five-star experience for cancer patients and caregivers.
“This is no cost to the guests,” says Cummings. “They don’t pay a dime to stay here but we want to make sure they feel like they’re living in a million-dollar environment.”
“Like today I was in there from 9 a.m. until now and then I got to go back in at 6 (p.m.),” says Anthony Wolk, Hope Lodge guest. “So, to go home and come back and stay all day again. I’d be running back and forth, coming in the dark and going home in the dark.”
Jim Kavanaugh and Worldwide Technology made the lead gift for the ongoing Hope is Home campaign, offering families a place to stay during their cancer treatments nearby.
Anthony Wolk, the first guest of the newly reopened facility, gives the home away from home a thumbs up.
“They make you feel like you’re at home,” says Wolk.