Evansville State Hospital

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Evansville State Hospital
Construction Began 1888
Opened 1890
Demolished 2002-2008
Current Status Demolished (Original)
Building Style Pavilion Plan (Radial)
Location Evansville, IN
Architecture Style Gothic Revival
Peak Patient Population 1,500 est. in 1954
Alternate Names
  • Woodmere Asylum
  • Southern Indiana Hospital for the Insane


In 1883, Indiana's Legislature authorized funding for the construction of a new facility in Evansville to treat mentally ill patients. A secluded, densely wooded farm on Newburgh Road (now Lincoln Avenue), then three miles outside of the city, was selected as the site, and on Oct. 30, 1890, the new hospital admitted its first two patients. Known in its early years as Woodmere ("tranquility in the forest") and since 1927 as the Evansville State Hospital, the hospital's gardens, poultry farm, livestock and orchards, spread out over nearly 900 acres, made it self-sufficient.

A general treatment facility with a long, rich history. Also referred to as "Woodmere", Evansville provided solitude and peace for mentally-ill patients. While Central State Hospital was a progressive force in scientific medicine in the early 20th century, Evansville remained largely a custodial institution. In 1943 the "X" shaped main building was severely damaged in a fire started by an employee. It was replaced later that year by a "U" shaped building, referred to as the Continuing Treatment Unit. By the late 1990s a new facility was being built & all the old structures were demolished by 2008. The hospital continues to serve southwestern Indiana in it's new facility.

Images of Evansville State Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Evansville State Hospital


Hospital Cemetery