From Asylum Projects
Both the Fergus Falls
Kirkbride buildings are in danger of being partially or completely demolished.
Please click on the link above for more information and to see how you can help.
The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.
This site is dedicated to the history of asylums in all forms. The term of asylum is applied to not only what is commonly thought of: mental hospitals, but can also be applied to sanatoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses, and orphanages. These institutions have and continue to play a major part in today's society.
Everyone throughout the United States and in many other countries has in one way or another felt the touch of these institutions. These places have both directly and indirectly affected people and their families. They have shaped lives and created many popular myths about them.
With all that in mind, this site was created to help in the historical research of any institutions that can be classified as an asylum. It was created for both serious researchers, those who are doing genealogical research, and people with an interest in asylums.
Featured Article Of The Week
W.T. Edwards Sanitarium
Though information is vague, Florida archives note W. T. Edwards as an important figure in state healthcare, donating significant amounts of money to various medical facilities. When a new series of state-of-the-art tuberculosis hospitals opened in roughly 1952, they were named in honor of W. T. Edwards. The hospitals were located all over the state of Florida, including Tampa, Lantana, Marianna, Tallahassee, Miami and several other cities in south Florida.
All of the hospital buildings were constructed in the same basic way. The main buildings were all very long and thin, consisting of 5 floors with a few smaller wings branching off from the main building. At the time, it was thought that fresh air was the best treatment for TB, so the buildings were riddled with multi-pane windows which could be opened by cranks. The back side of each building was a wall of windows, while the front windows were more evenly spaced apart, especially in sections that did not house patients.
When the vaccine for TB was discovered, there was no longer a need for tuberculosis hospitals and the W. T. Edwards Hospitals were all closed by the start of the 1960s. The facilities fell under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Health and it wouldn't take long for the hospitals to reopen as Sunlands across the state. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
The Henry Hobson Richardson Complex
, or the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, as it was originally called, started construction in 1870 and was completed almost 20 years later. It was a state-of-the-art facility when it was built, incorporating the most modern ideas in psychiatric treatment. The design of the buildings as well as the restorative grounds, designed by famed landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted, were intended to complement the innovations in psychiatric care practiced at this facility.
Upcoming Events Calendar
Asylum News (news you can edit!)
May 6, 2013 Napa State Hospital to get a history of its very own
- Napa State Hospital, once as defining a symbol of Napa as wine, is the subject of a planned book that will capture its dramatic history in photos and personal reminiscences. The author, archivist Patricia Prestinary, is asking the community to share photos, particularly from the 1970s and ’80s, that capture hospital life before the facility was turned into a medium-security psychiatric facility.
April 18, 2013 Our Legacy: Remembering Crownsville State Hospital
- They arrived by train to build the Crownsville State Hospital for the Negro Insane where most would live out their lives until death. In death some went home to be buried with family, some were sent to the University of Maryland Medical School, cadavers for young medical students to study, and others sustained autopsies at Crownsville State Hospital and were buried with numbers on their headstones at the end of Farm Road.
April 2, 2013 Abandoned Henryton hospital slated for demolition
- Perched on a wooded bluff in rural southeastern Carroll County, the old Henryton State Hospital bears silent witness to the ravages of decades of neglect and vandalism. First opened in 1923, the 18-building complex that once housed the sick and handicapped now appears beyond hope of recovery itself. Windows gape. Trees reach to the sky through roofs that have caved in or burned. Graffiti and vines cover stucco and brick walls. Broken glass and beer cans litter the ground, along with debris from the crumbling structures. The Henryton complex near Marriottsville, closed since 1985, has deteriorated over the years from white elephant to potentially dangerous nuisance. Worried that someone is going to get hurt, local officials have pressed the state to demolish it, and now the end may be near, with a state official vowing to try to start work in May.
March 22, 2013 Was closing the Rochester State Hospital a good idea?
- Three decades ago the Rochester State Hospital closed its doors to patients living with mental illness, aspart of an effort to reintegrate patients into the community. Backers of the move thought closing the hospital would encourage services to help patients live independently, improve their quality of life and save money.
March 11, 2013 Former mental hospital, historic buildings' fate undecided
- As their fate hangs in the balance, the historic buildings still standing at the former Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital will be the subject of a presentation to the Mount Tabor Historical Society on Thursday. Preserve Greystone, a nonprofit group, will lead the discussion on whether to refurbish or demolish the structures at 7 p.m. at The Bethel, in the Trinity Park section of Mount Tabor. Meanwhile, the draft of a long-awaited feasibility study on Greystone is in the hands of officials in the state Treasury Department, and could soon be released to the public.
March 15, 2013 Local photographer documents Fulton State Hospital ahead of bond issue
- While Fulton State Hospital fights to pass a bond issue to construct new buildings for the aging mental health facility, Craig Chapman is working to preserve it. Chapman doesn’t wish to stop the bulldozers that hospital administrators hope will soon bring down older, unusable structures and pave the way for a new hospital, however. He wants to immortalize the architectural history with his camera.
February 24, 2013 Proposal to build resort at former Northern State Hospital draws support
- A proposal to build a destination resort on the grounds of the former Northern State Hospital gained support this month, after the Port of Skagit Board of Commissioners and the Skagit County Commissioners wrote letters agreeing to explore land-use changes necessary for the plan. In a letter dated Feb. 12, the port commissioners cited job creation, a boost for Sedro-Woolley’s and the county’s tax base and “spinoff” businesses as reasons to get behind the project.