|City/Town: • Oklahoma City|
|Location Class: • Residential • Church • Hospital|
|Year Built: • 1945|
|Year Abandoned: • 1980's|
|Status: • Abandoned • Endangered • Gutted|
|Photojournalist: • Cody Cooper|
When we are looking for possible locations to add to our database, a lot of it comes from simply driving around the state and keeping our eyes open. St. Vincents is one of those locations that we had no information on previous to our visit. After we documented the location, we began the research. What was different about this location was the fact that hardly any information could be found. We ended up searching the Oklahoman archives and what we learned about St. Vincents home was shocking to say the least.
St. Vincent’s Home was operated by the Brothers of Mercy and was built in 1945. The nursing order of Catholic brothers moved to the present location and built the ‘old’ section of the building in 1953. The addition was built using a grant from Hill-Burton. St. Vincent’s takes male patients only. In 1957, patients ranged from a 7 year old boy, and a 90 year old man. The addition added several semi-private rooms with connecting baths, a lounge on each floor, nurses stations, and a chapel.
The home has had it’s share of tragic endings and in 1962, a nurse brutally suffocated two patients, simply for the thrill of it, but the charges were later dropped because the man had schizophrenia. In 1988, Rev. Richard Frank Dolan, who founded the Main Artery (an alcoholics living center at the location) was found murdered in his apartment. And in 1983, a man who lived at the home was shot and killed in Norman.
Rev. Richard Frank Dolan also holds an interesting past. He was arrested for soliciting prostitution in 1984 when he approached a male undercover officer for sex. He also was known to hire men to work for him at a flea market on 10th and Penn in OKC. He was also the center of controversy within the church for his involvement in multiple bingo halls in the city. The investigation into his mysterious death lead police to Colorado where a friend of the priest confessed that this wasn’t the first attack on Dolan. He had a history of attacks and confrontations. There was an arrest made in his murder, however the suspect was released due to inconsistent evidence. To this day, his death remains unsolved.
The building still stands today, but all windows are gone, and trash is everywhere.
Occasionally while in locations, I will record video or sound on my basic point and shoot digital camera. This location I recorded several audio clips but didn’t review them until several weeks later. The clip below was recorded in the lower level, right next to the original building. You will hear us walking through the debris, but listen carefully and you will hear a voice say “Don’t Ignore Me”. After not sleeping all night and not exactly sure what we had recorded, we headed back to the location and tested out several possibilities. We set the recorder and walked down the hallway whispering “Don’t ignore me” every foot or so. The results were shocking. After you get more than 5 feet from the recorder, all you hear is a muffled, but full of reverb and echo whisper. The recording is way to clear for it to have been whispered from more than 3 feet away. I had the recorder in my hand, and I was at least 15 feet from the other 2 in our team. So you decide what it could be….