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East Louisiana State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
An act of the legislative session of 1847 established "The Insane Asylum of the State of Louisiana" in Jackson and provided, among other things, for the construction of the Asylum's physical plant. The Asylum's Board of Administrators appointed an architect, a Mr. Gibbens. to draw up the plans. He was specifically told not to design something that would look like a prison. Gibbens came up with the design of the Center Building with its wings. The Board of Administrators purchased a 250-acre tract known as "Flowery Hill" a short distance from the business section of Jackson, separated from the town by a small stream. |+|
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|−|On July 5, 1847, Robert Perry signed a contract with the Board for the building of the Asylum , and President David Shattuck of Centenary College signed as security for Perry. The Board requested that the West Wing be completed by December 1, 1847, but there were delays due to bad weather and the building was not ready for occupancy until the fall of 1848. The East Wing was not finished until 1849. Center Building was ready for use in 1854, but it was never completed according to Gibbens' plans. The rear of the building was to have extended another hundred feet and to have contained a central kitchen, storerooms, and other facilities. Although the Asylum's early superintendents frequently asked the Legislature for funds to complete Center Building, they were never provided. [[ East Louisiana State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Elgin State Hospital
On December 28,1869, the Board of Trustees met to examine the nine plans that had been submitted from various architects for the new asylum. The Board had enlisted the aid of two prominent superintendents to act as advisers. One was Dr. Andrew McFarland, M.D., the Superintendent of the state hospital in Jacksonville. The other was Dr. Richard J. Patterson, M.D., former superintendent of state hospitals in Indianapolis, Indiana and Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Interestingly, the building design of the Jacksonville hospital was largely based on that of the Indiana State Hospital, and is an example of the increasingly common practice of copying designs from one hospital for use at another.
The original name of the Elgin Mental Health Facility (its current name) was The Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. The doors opened in 1872, however, construction of additional buildings continued until 1874. A rumor circulated for year, and still exists that the State of Illinois approached the City of Elgin with plans to construct a mental institution and a college and offered Elgin one or the other. As the rumor goes, Elgin took the mental institution, De Kalb took Northern Illinois University. As Elgin Historian and celebrated Elgin History author, Bill Briska points out the rumor, "...is totally false" He goes on to state that, "The state hospital was founded in 1869 and the college in 1892. (there are) No connection between the events". Click here for more...