Across the street from the Old Cook County Hospital stands a statue of Louis Pasteur, the Frenchman remembered for his breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases and the discovery of of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization.
The 28-foot-tall Art Deco memorial statue was first unveiled on October 27, 1928, in Grant Park, by Vice President Charles Dawes and the French Ambassador. The sculptor was Leon Hermant. In 1946 the statue was moved to it’s current location, across from Cook County Hospital. The Beaux Arts-style hospital, now closed, in the midst of a billion dollar rebirth as shopping and office space.
Looking down to his right, there is a young woman cradling two suffering children, a symbol of of the disease and want that Pasteur’s discoveries helped transform for the better.
On the back is a brass plaque, containing Pasteur’s words: One doesn’t ask of one who suffers: what is your country and what is your religion? One merely says, you suffer. This is enough for me. You belong to me and I shall help you.