Zeller Zone Center

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Zeller Zone Center
Construction Began 1964
Opened 1967
Closed 2002
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Peoria, IL
Alternate Names
  • George Zeller Mental Health Center


The Zeller Zone Center Staff at first consisted of 25 professional and clerical employees, most former staff of the Institute for Juvenile Research. Like other Zone Centers, operations began in 1967 with outpatient services to children due to the number of former IJR staff. By 1968 inpatient services were in operation on the 69 acre campus. It was located on the northside of Peoria in a residential area. The first superintendent was James Ward who had previously been superintendent at Peoria State Hospital, whose patient population had dropped to about 600 when it closed in 1973. When it closed, many of those patients that were not released, were moved to Zeller.

A patient experience at Zeller was different from traditional state hospital treatment. An admissions team assessed the problems and referred the patient to the appropriate unit: children, adolescent, adult, geriatric or alcoholic units. A day care unit deflected many from inpatient care. Therapeutic programs included individual and group psychotherapy, video therapy, occupational and recreational therapy and, infrequently, ECT.

By 2002 the decision was made to close Zeller, one of the last remaining "Zone Centers" in Illinois. The buildings are now used by the Illinois Central College North Campus.