Galesburg State Research Hospital

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Galesburg State Research Hospital
Construction Ended 1943
Opened 1950
Closed 1985
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Galesburg, IL
Peak Patient Population 3,000 in 1958
Alternate Names
  • Mayo General Hospital
  • Galesburg State Hospital
  • Galesburg Mental Health Center


Built in 1943 originally for ill and wounded soldiers returning from World War 2. Consisted of 118 brick buildings connected by 1.5 miles of enclosed corridors on a 155 acre plot of land. Contained 2,350 beds and reached a population of 3,000 while under military control. Among those that worked there, 160 German POWs. In 1946 the hospital was declared surplus and turned over to the state of Illinois. In 1949 the state turned it over to the Department of Public Welfare and patients began arriving in November 1950, most of those were from the overcrowded Manteno and Kankakee State Hospitals. In 1955 Dr. Harold Himwich developed the drug Chlorpromazine at Galesburg.

The hospital was planned to primarily care for elderly patients and develop a major research program. By 1960 the hospital began accepting patients of all ages and a focus on alcoholism treatment. The hospital used all types of treatment during it's history including ECT and insulin shock therapy. Patient population peak reached 3,000 by the late 1950s. The hospital was closed in 1985 and research programs moved to Chicago. The remaining 300+ patients were moved to other state hospitals. Today many of the buildings remain, owned by private businesses under the name of Hawthorne Center.

Images of Galesburg State Research Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Galesburg State Research Hospital