Nevada State Hospital

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Nevada State Hospital
Nevada State Hospital
Established 1885
Opened 1887
Closed 1991
Demolished 1999
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Kirkbride Plan
Architect(s) Morris Frederick Bell
Location Nevada, MO
Architecture Style Second Empire
Alternate Names
  • State Hospital for the Insane No. 3
  • Southwest Missouri Mental Health Center


Nevada State Hospital was established in 1885; it was the third asylum in Missouri. The first building to be built was the distinctive Kirkbride main building. Over the years the building lost most of its distinctive features and ornamentation. Originally called Lunatic Asylum Number 3, the State Hospital's first building opened on October 17, 1889. The Second Empire style main building was the single largest public building in Missouri at the time of its construction. The asylum was physically self-sufficient from the beginning. Spread out across 520 acres, it had its own water supply, laundry facilities, power plant, and telephone systems, as well as gardens, a lake, greenhouses, a dairy, a hennery, and a hog farm, all of which aided in the production of food stuffs and provided occupational therapy for inmates. In addition to the main building, the complex contained numerous support buildings, structures, and outbuildings, including an ice plant, power plant, cannery, fire engine house, carpenter shop, barns, and silos.

During the late 1930s, the Missouri State Hospital Number 3 facilities expanded with the construction of new buildings to address overcrowded conditions. Concurrent with the construction of the Infirmary Building for acute care patients, the state built a Clinic Building to the north of the Infirmary Building to house diagnostic intake facilities and donnitory and treatment space for non-acute/chronic care patients. Another new facility on the hospital grounds was an employee dormitory. These improvements marked the most significant physical growth of the institution in the twentieth century.

In 1973, the Missouri Division of Mental Health divided the institution into the Nevada State Hospital and the Nevada State School and Hospital. The Nevada State Hospital treated mentally ill patients, while the Nevada State School and Hospital became a treatment, training, and habilitation center for mentally retarded and developmentally disabled patients. The latter was renamed Nevada Habilitation Center in 1983.

By 1991 Nevada State Hospital closed and transitioned its operations to a Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program known as Southwest Missouri Mental Health Center. The center continued these operations until 1997 when it relocated to a new inpatient facility in ElDorado Springs, Missouri. In conjunction with this move, the facility received an official title change to Southwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center and currently continues services under this title. All that remains is the former Infirmary Building, now renovated as a retirement home.


Nevada State Hospital #3, A History of Change, 1885 - 2013


There are about 1,500 patients buried at the hospital cemetery. Records pertaining to it were lost in 1991 during the hospital's closure. List of known burials

Images of Nevada State Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Nevada State Hospital

Links & More Information[edit]