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Old 12-12-2000, 11:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: usa
Posts: 13
clouds HB User

Preservation Alert
Kirkbride Hospitals
On Names
Message Board
Map and Index
"The Asylum Tourist"
Other Sites
Find books on psychiatric history and other subjects Search Now:

New: King's Park in New York, Massillon State Hospital in Ohio, St Agnes Hospital, Pilgrim State Hospital in New York, Lima in Ohio, Fairfield Hills in Connecticut, Camarillo (California) Coming soon: Central Islip (New York), Wayne County Child Development Center.

Preservation Alert
The following historic state hospital sites are in danger of demolition, destruction, or some other sort of serious negative alteration:

Farview State Hospital (Pennsylvania)
Northampton State Hospital (Massachusetts)
Traverse City State Hospital (now called Grand Traverse Commons) in Michigan
St Elizabeth's in Washington, D.C.
Buffalo State Psychiatric Hospital in Buffalo, New York
Clinton Valley Center in Pontiac, Michigan was very recently lost.
This web site is an attempt to catalog and present America's historic state hospitals (insane asylums) founded in the latter half of the 19th century. The site focuses on the facilities built on the "Kirkbride plan", but it is not necessarily limited to the Kirkbride hospitals. Known Kirkbride hospitals are indicated by a Kirkbride building symbol in the listings. A few asylums outside of this scope, such as ones constructed in the 20th century and a fictional asylum, are also included.
To some, the asylums of the 19th century represent a darker period in mental health care, with involuntary incarceration, barbaric and ineffective treatments, and abuse of patients.

However, there is also a legacy of progressive institutional treatment left by Dorothea Dix, Thomas Story Kirkbride, John Galt, and others represented by these buildings and sites: treatments and philosophies which seem rather outdated today, but at the time were a great improvement in the treatment of the mentally ill.

A large proportion of these historic institutions are no longer mental hospitals. What remains are the magnificent castle-like buildings wrought of brick and stone in incredible detail, a legacy of an attention to detail in architecture which seems to have been long forgotten.

Scope of this site: Presented here are hospitals which are still in operation, hospitals which are still standing but are now closed, hospitals that are still standing but are no longer used as hospitals, and hospitals that have been long since or recently demolished. This site focuses primarily on mental institutions (and facilities for the developmentally disabled) run by State governments (most commonly called state hospitals). However, some city and county asylums have been included. These are probably in actuality more numerous than the state hospitals, but information on them seems to be far more scarce than for the state institutions. Institutions which are similar to, or have overlapping functionality with insane asylums include prisons, medical hospitals, sanitoriums, and poor farms. Although a few of these might be included in this site (especially where they share locations with insane asylums), the focus of this site is not on these types of facilities. Note: This site is not yet complete: there are a lot of asylums that have not been added yet.

Architects:: The architects of these buildings include H.H. Richardson, George Kessler, Gordon W. Lloyd, Stephen Vaughn Shipman (who designed several), state capitol architect Elijah E. Myers, Ward P. Delano, Isaac Perry, John Notman, Frederick Law Olmsted (landscapes and grounds), A.J. Davis, H.W.S. Cleveland, Edward O. Fallis, Warren Dunnell, Charles C Rittenhouse, Richard Karl August Kletting, John A. Fox, and others. Thomas Story Kirkbride, while not an architect, devised the basic floor plan many of these architects used in the design of their main asylum buildings.

Sanitariums: To most, the word "sanitarium" currently has identical meaning to "insane asylum". However, a century ago, the typical sanitarium was most likely a hospital or residential health spa. Some historic sanitariums were state-run tuberculosis hospitals, and a few were actually insane asylums. The most famous historic sanitarium was the Kellogg Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. This sanitarium was of the hospital/health spa variety, and was depicted in the film and book "The Road to Wellville". Kellogg's corn flakes were invented at this institution. Several historic sanitariums are included at the end of the listings for each state.

Type of Information Presented: This site contains scores of historic asylum postcard images, along with many other photos (historic and modern). Most of the pages contain postcard images or photos, while some of the pages contain only text at this time.

Also included are some architect or planner sketches of the hospitals as they were supposed to look (drawn before construction), and the intended floor plans.

Some photos or other renditions of famous figures from this part of mental health history are included with the entry for the institution that the person was associated with.

These hospitals with their imposing main buildings are quickly vanishing from the American landscape.

The Kirkbride State Hospitals
This excerpt was based on annual reports written by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, who served the Pennsylvania Hospital as superintendent from 1841-1883.

Dr. Kirkbride's progressive therapies and innovative writings on hospital design and management became known as the "Kirkbride Plan," which influenced, in one form or another, almost every American state hospital by the turn of the century.

Dr. Kirkbride created a humane and compassionate environment for his patients, and he believed that the beautiful setting described below restored patients to a more natural balance of the senses."
- quoted from the Pennsylvania Hospital Newsletter of the Friends of the Hospital

Dr. Kirkbride spoke of his plan as linear. Buildings were arranged en échelons. The center building was more imposing than the others and had a dome, in agreement with the classical tastes of the time. From the center building, used for administration offices, extended wings right and left for patients. From the ends of the wings short cross sections dropped back to connect with more buildings, for patients, which were parallel to the original wings. Each ward was enough out of line so that fresh air could reach it from all four sides and it was not under observation from the other wards
- from Dr. Kirkbride and his Mental Hospital by Earl D. Bond

You can read more about Thomas Story Kirkbride in The Art of Asylum-Keeping : Thomas Story Kirkbride and the Origins of American Psychiatry

See the following historic images of historic state hospitals from across the nation (states and territories). Hospitals that are known for sure to be Kirkbride hospitals are indicated with an asterisk *. The images include photographs, sketches, and floor plans. Note: Image sizes range from 30K to over 300K: these larger ones may take some time to load.

Over the years, factors such as changes in the mission of the state hospital, changes in philosophy, and even changes in terminology has left these facilities with many names. Some state hospitals have had several names, and it seems like any institution that lasted from the 19th century into the 20th century had at least one name change.
Examples of Names (tending from earlier to recent)
Lunatic Hospital
Lunatic Asylum
Asylum for the Insane
Insane Asylum
State Hospital
Mental Health Center
Psychiatric Hospital
Regional Center
Developmental Center


Map and State Hospital/Asylum Index
You may click on a state in the map to the right to see the listings for that state.

Key to Symbols
Starred entries have a lot of information; at least four images and/or substantial text.
Entries with this symbol of a large building with a tall central wing and wings attached on either side in a symmetric fashion are known Kirkbride hospitals.

Entries with this symbol are asylums based on a plan of scattered cottages. Hospitals which started as Kirkbride, but later added cottages are included under the Kirkbride category above instead of this cottage category.

Entries with this symbol are asylums that consisted mainly of one single-wing building.

Entries with this symbol are asylums that consist of a large rambling building that is not on the Kirkbride plan.

Entries with this symbol have the main asylum building intact (or mostly intact), or the cottages pretty much remain in the case of cottage-based hospitals. Preserved hospitals can still be in use as psychiatric hospitals, used for another purpose, or abandoned.

Entries with this symbol are in danger of demolition at this time.

Entries with this symbol are asylums of which little remains

Entries with this symbol are for asylums that have lost their most significant historic structures, but a lot of other buildings and the grounds remain.

Entries with this symbol are for asylums buildings that are currently undergoing some sort of remodeling or renovation.

Institution entries with this symbol have "Asylum Tourist" information, with information on museums at state hospitals (and former state hospitals) and other sites open to the public, and general information on viewing the sites. The "Asylum Tourist" entries also include information on asylum sites NOT worth seeing, and why.

Intrusion at psychiatric institutions, residences, and hospitals which are still in operation is strongly discouraged. The privacy and treatment of the residents and patients must be respected. This also includes former asylums which have been converted to another residential use.

This symbol, the scales of justice over prison bars, represents institutions that have now become prisons.

This symbol represents institutions which have now become colleges.

Bryce Hospital for the Insane, Tuscaloosa
Sanitariums: Belle Aire Sanitarium (Mobile)
No listings at this time.

Insane Asylum, Phoenix

Arkansas State Hospital (Arkansas Insane Asylum), Little Rock, 1883. No historic structures remaining (?)
Arkansas Training School for Girls, Alexander

Agnews State Hospital, 1885
Camarillo State Hospital, Ventura County
Highland State Hospital
Stockton State Hospital, 1853
Metropolitan State Hospital near Los Angeles
Napa State Hospital
Patton State Hospital

Colorado State Hospital (Colorado Insane Asylum), Pueblo, 1879
Sanitariums: Mount Airy Sanitarium

Fairfield State Hospital, Newtown, 1932
Connecticut Retreat for the Insane, Hartford, 1823
Connecticut State Hospital, Middletown
Norwich Insane Hospital, Norwich
State School for Feeble-Minded, Lakeville
Sanitariums: Dr Given's (Stamford), Dr. Wadsworth (South Norwalk)

Delaware State Hospital for the Insane, Wilmington

District of Columbia
St Elizabeth's

Florida State Hospital, 1877

Central State Hospital, Milledgeville 1837
Sanitariums: Blackman-Walton (Atlanta)

No listings at this time.

No listings at this time.

Illinois Northern Hospital for the Insane at Elgin
Chicago State Hospital (Chicago Read)
Anna State Hospital (Southern Illinois)
Eastern Hospital for the Insane at Kankakee
Central Illinois State Hospital for the Insane (Jacksonville)
Institute for the Feeble Minded, Lincoln
Manteno State Hospital
Bartonville State Hospital, Peoria, 1885 (aka Peoria State Hospital)
Watertown Asylum, East Moline area, Illinois

Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane
Evansville State Hospital (Woodmere)
Home for Feeble-Minded Youth, Fort Wayne
Logansport State Hospital (Northern Insane Asylum), Logansport
Madison State Hospital (Southeastern Insane Hospital), Madison
Richmond State Hospital
Sanitariums: Dillsboro Sanitarium

Cherokee State Hospital
Clarinda State Hospital
Des Moines County Infirmary and Asylum for the Insane
Hospital for the Insane, Dubuque
Institute for Feeble-Minded Children, Glenwood
Woodward State Hospital (in Woodward)
Iowa State Hospital for the Insane

Kansas State Imbecile Asylum (Winfield State Hospital), Winfield
Parsons State Hospital, Parsons
Topeka State Hospital
Wells Asylum, Atchison
Menniger Clinic (1925)

Central Insane Asylum, Lakeland
Feeble-Minded Institute, Frankfort
Western State Hospital (Western Kentucky Asylum), Hopkinsville, 1848
Eastern State Hospital,1824

State Hospital at Alexandria
Sanitariums: Fenwick Sanitarium (Covington)

Augusta Mental Health Institute (Augusta Insane Hospital), 1848
Bangor Insane Hospital
Valley Farm (Maine School for Feeble-Minded), West Ponwal

Bay View Asylum. Highlandtown
Eastern Shore State Hospital, Cambridge
Sheppard-Enoch Pratt Hospital
Spring Grove State Hospital, Catonsville
Warfield Complex Development Project (Springfield State Hospital). External link
Sanitariums: Laurel Sanitarium (Laurel), Solomon Sanitarium

State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers, Mass.
Northampton State Hospital
Taunton Lunatic Asylum
Worcester State Hospital
Tewksbury Hospital
Metropolitan State Hospital for the Insane
Sanitariums: Essex Sanitorium, (Middleton)

Pontiac State Hospital (Clinton Valley Center)
Kalamazoo State Hospital
Traverse City State Hospital Also see the "Asylum and Architecture" main page for an index of historic information including images.
Ionia Asylum
Newberry State Hospital
Lapeer School
St Joseph Asylum at Dearborn
Northville State Hospital
Eloise Hospital (Wayne County)
Ypsilanti State Hospital
Kellogg Sanitarium, Battle Creek, Michigan
Grand Traverse Sanitarium
Mercy Sanitarium and Bath House, Manistee, Michigan
Fergus Falls State Hospital
Hastings State Hospital, 1888
St Peter Regional Treatement Center, 1866. Page under construction.
Rochester State Hospital
Nevada State Hospital
St Joseph State Hospital
St Louis County Insane Asylum SWGNA Area Landmarks
No listings at this time.
Montana State Hospital (at Anaconda)
Hastings State Hospital
State Lunatic Asylum at Lincoln, 1870
Norfolk Hospital for the Insane, 1885
Nevada Mental Health Institute, 1882
New Hampshire
No listings at this time.

New Jersey
Trenton State Hospital (Coming soon)
State Asylum for the Insane at Morristown
New Mexico
No listings at this time.

New York
Binghamton State Hospital
Harlem Valley State Hospital
Hudson River State Hospital
Utica State Hospital
Buffalo State Hospital
Dannemora State Hospital
King's Park State Hospital
Middletown State Hospital
Matteawan State Hospital (now Fishkill Correctional Facility)
Pilgrim State Hospital
Rochester State Hospital
St. Lawrence State Hospital
Asylum on Blackwell's Island, 1839
Bloomington Lunatic Asylum, 1808
New York Asylum for Idiots, at Syracuse
Loomis Sanitorium, (Liberty)
Interpines Sanitorium (Goshen)
North Carolina
Broughton Hospital, 1874
Cherry Hospital, 1880
Dorothea Dix Hospital (Coming soon)
Sanitariums: Western North Carolina Sanitorium
North Dakota
Grafton State Hospital

Ohio Facilities
Toledo State Hospital, 1888
Dayton State Hospital
Columbus Hospital for the Insane
Cleveland State Hospital, 1855
Athens State Hospital
Longview Asylum
Massillon State Hospital
Lima State Hospital
No listings at this time.

Dammasch State Hospital, Wilsonville
State Insane Asylum at Salem
Nanticoke State Hospital
Pennsylvania Hospital
Friends Hospital
Western Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane at Dixmont
Harrisburg State Hospital
Danville State Hospital
Scranton State Hospital
Warren State Hospital
Woodville State Hospital
Mayview State Hospital, 1818
Norristown State Hospital (near Philadelphia)
Allentown State Hospital
Farview State Hospital
Pennsylvania State Hospitals general/medical hospitals and NOT mental asylums:
Philipsburg State Hospital
Shamokin State Hospital.
Puerto Rico
Insane Asylum
Rhode Island
Butler Hospital for the Insane, 1847
Dexter Hospital for the Insane
Asylum for the Incurable Insane at Howard, 1870
South Carolina
No listings at this time.

South Dakota
Hiawatha Insane Asylum for American Indians, 1902.

No listings at this time.

No listings at this time.

Utah State Hospital
Brattleboro Retreat, 1838
Waterbury State Hospital
Eastern State Hospital
Western Virginia State Hospital (Page under construction)
Augusta County Asylum
Washington (State)
State Insane Asylum near Tacoma (Steilacoom)
Eastern State Hospital at Spokane
West Virginia
Weston Asylum 1858
Spencer State Hospital
Larkin State Hospital (Colored Insane)
Huntington State Hospital
Wisconsin State Hospital (Madison)
Winnebago State Hospital, aka Northern Asylum for the Insane, Winnebago Mental Health Institute, 1873
Sauk County Poor Farm and Insane Asylum, 1871
Rock County Insane Asylum
Dunn County Insane Asylum
Richland Center Asylum
Casper State Hospital
Other Asylums
Rockford Insane Asylum (?), state unknown
Arkham Asylum, fictional
St Agnes Hospital for the Chronically Insane


Links to Other Lists of State Hospitals and Sites on Related Subjects
An extensive list of other web sites devoted to historic asylums can be found at the Open Directory Project (DMOZ)
Dick Lightle Postcards : State Hospital and Asylum Postcards for Sale. Check this site occasionally, as there are postcards being added and removed from his list.
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability Resources, an extensive site on these subjects with historic information including state hospital history.
Yahoo! listing of psychiatric hospitals on the Web
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Cupola Collection, an eclectic collection of Architecture, Art, picturesque Landscapes, and of course, cupolas
PsychLink Viewing
American Local History Network
National Register of Historic Places
General Architecture Sites:
BIG Buildings
Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

<p>[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 12-29-2000).]

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Old 12-12-2000, 11:23 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: US
Posts: 407
cutenbrat HB User
Re: asylums

What is this all about exactly? You now have got my interst.

Old 12-21-2000, 08:21 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: usa
Posts: 13
clouds HB User
Re: asylums

forgot wasit about asylums?

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