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Mizzou North was built as home to Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, the first state cancer hospital west of the Mississippi River and only the second in the nation.
The original state bill called for the hospital to be built in Columbia under the authority of MU. Columbia was selected because of its central location in Missouri and the city of Columbia’s donation of 40 acres of land for the hospital.
The construction for the building was funded by an appropriation of $500,000 from the legislature and $409,000 from the Public Works Administration. The building was designed by St. Louis architectural firm Jamieson and Spearl.
The hospital was dedicated on April 26, 1940. On MU Health’s website, it compares the seven-story building to a layered chocolate cake, with each successive story looking like a smaller “layer.” The hospital housed 85 beds and had the latest technology for treating cancer at the time.
More than 1,000 patients were treated at the hospital during its first full year of operation. At that time, the hospital fulfilled its original intent of treating only Missouri residents who were unable to pay for their care.
In the 1950s, new landscaping and technology came to the building. In 1952, the Columbia Garden Club planted a therapy garden on hospital grounds. Flowers were delivered from the garden to hospitalized patients.
In 1973, the Missouri legislature appropriated $7.6 million to build a new wing for the hospital. This three-story addition opened in 1975, expanding outpatient clinics and laboratory space and adding a new operating room suite.
In 1990, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center merged with MU. In March 2013, the center relocated from Mizzou North to a new patient care tower located on the University Hospital campus.
Mizzou North is now home to the Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Museum of Anthropology. These museums moved to Mizzou North from the MU campus in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Alex Barker, director of the Museum of Art and Archaeology, says after the museum moved to Mizzou North in October 2013, it was renovated in 2014 and opened its doors to the public April 19, 2015. The Museum of Anthropology has yet to open its doors to the public due to renovations at Mizzou North.
Mizzou North is also home to various MU departments, programs and offices. The building holds the Central Missouri Regional Arthritis Center, the Law Enforcement Training Institute, the Missouri Folk Arts Program, the American Lymphedema Framework Project, the Missouri Water Resources Research Center and more.