Difference between revisions of "Binghamton State Hospital"

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{{infobox institution
 
{{infobox institution
 
| name = Binghamton State Hospital
 
| name = Binghamton State Hospital
| image = Binghamton02.png
+
| image = BinghamptonB.jpg
 
| image_size = 250px
 
| image_size = 250px
 
| alt = Binghamton State Hospital
 
| alt = Binghamton State Hospital
 
| caption =  
 
| caption =  
 
| established =
 
| established =
| construction_began = 1858
+
| construction_began =  
| construction_ended = 1864
+
| construction_ended =  
| opened =
+
| opened = 1858
| closed =
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| closed = 1993
 
| demolished =
 
| demolished =
| current_status = [[Active Institution|Active]]
+
| current_status = [[Preserved Institution|Preserved]]
 
| building_style = [[Cottage Planned Institutions|Cottage Plan]]
 
| building_style = [[Cottage Planned Institutions|Cottage Plan]]
 
| architect(s) = Isaac G. Perry  
 
| architect(s) = Isaac G. Perry  
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==History==
 
==History==
The New York State Inebriate Asylum, later known as Binghamton State Hospital, was the first institution designed and constructed to treat alcoholism as a mental disorder. Located in Binghamton, NY, its imposing Gothic Revival exterior was designed by New York architect Isaac G. Perry and construction was completed in 1864. In 1993 the main building was closed due to safety concerns. The asylum appears on both the state and national lists of Historic Places, but it is currently in a state of disrepair and is one of the most endangered historical places in the nation, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997.<ref>History from: [http://nysasylum.com/biahist.htm NYS Asylum]</ref>
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Built in 1858, the castle originally served as the country's first inebriate asylum. Founder J. Edward Turner belonged to a school of thought that alcoholism wasn't just a vice, but could be cured medically. The well-lit rooms and extensive grounds are an important marker in New York State's view of addiction. The asylum was the first of its kind in the country, but only served its original purpose for 15 years, at which point Turner's inebriate asylum was converted into a hospital for the chronically insane. The asylum faced financial woes for a decade after a great fire broke out in March 1870. Gov. Lucius Robinson deemed it a “complete failure” in 1879, suggesting that the asylum be closed down and renovated to house the insane. In 1881, its doors were reopened as the Binghamton Asylum for the Chronic Insane, later renamed the Binghamton State Hospital. Hundreds of patients were transferred to Binghamton from Utica, Poughkeepsie and Middletown; those patients lived, suffered and died in the palatial asylum. Treatment methods only worsened with the turn of the century.
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In 1942, the hospital instituted electric shock therapy, hydrotherapy and later lobotomy as methods of treatment for the mentally ill. These “treatments” were nothing short of brutally inhumane. Patients were restrained in wet canvas for up to six hours at a time and forced into seizures by means of electric shock. The worst and most terrifying of these treatments was the prefrontal lobotomy, a form of psychosurgery that involved scrambling the frontal lobe of the brain with a sharp metal instrument inserted through the upper eye socket.
 +
 
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The hospital fell into steep decline in the late 1900s with the introduction of modern medicinal treatments, until it finally closed its doors in 1993. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997.
  
In April, 2008, New York State's Legislature allocated $12.45 million for phase one of the Castle renovation.<ref>[http://nysasylum.com/images/lupardo.pdf http://nysasylum.com/images/lupardo.pdf]</ref>
 
  
==Books==
 
*''Drunkard's Refuge: The Lessons of the New York State Inebriate Asylum'', by John W. Crowley and William L. White
 
  
 
== Images of Binghamton State Hospital ==
 
== Images of Binghamton State Hospital ==
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<gallery>
 
<gallery>
File:BHSH Image4.jpg
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File:binghamton11.png
 
File:BinghamptonA.jpg
 
File:BinghamptonA.jpg
 
File:BinghamptonB.jpg
 
File:BinghamptonB.jpg
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
  
==References==
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==Books==
<references/>
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*''Drunkard's Refuge: The Lessons of the New York State Inebriate Asylum'', by John W. Crowley and William L. White
  
 
==Links==
 
==Links==
 
*[http://nysasylum.com/bia.htm NYS Asylum - A great website dedicated to the hospital]
 
*[http://nysasylum.com/bia.htm NYS Asylum - A great website dedicated to the hospital]
  
[[Category:Active Institution]]
+
[[Category:New York]]
 +
[[Category:Preserved Institution]]
 
[[Category:Cottage Plan]]
 
[[Category:Cottage Plan]]
[[Category:New York]]
 
 
[[Category:Asylum Books]]
 
[[Category:Asylum Books]]

Latest revision as of 10:33, 27 February 2021

Binghamton State Hospital
Binghamton State Hospital
Opened 1858
Closed 1993
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Cottage Plan
Architect(s) Isaac G. Perry
Location Binghamton, NY
Architecture Style Gothic Revival
Alternate Names
  • Greater Binghamton Health Center (Current)
  • New York State Inebriate Asylum
  • Binghamton Asylum for the Chronic Insane
  • Binghamton State Hospital
  • Binghamton Inebriate Asylum
  • Binghamton Psychiatric Center



History[edit]

Built in 1858, the castle originally served as the country's first inebriate asylum. Founder J. Edward Turner belonged to a school of thought that alcoholism wasn't just a vice, but could be cured medically. The well-lit rooms and extensive grounds are an important marker in New York State's view of addiction. The asylum was the first of its kind in the country, but only served its original purpose for 15 years, at which point Turner's inebriate asylum was converted into a hospital for the chronically insane. The asylum faced financial woes for a decade after a great fire broke out in March 1870. Gov. Lucius Robinson deemed it a “complete failure” in 1879, suggesting that the asylum be closed down and renovated to house the insane. In 1881, its doors were reopened as the Binghamton Asylum for the Chronic Insane, later renamed the Binghamton State Hospital. Hundreds of patients were transferred to Binghamton from Utica, Poughkeepsie and Middletown; those patients lived, suffered and died in the palatial asylum. Treatment methods only worsened with the turn of the century.

In 1942, the hospital instituted electric shock therapy, hydrotherapy and later lobotomy as methods of treatment for the mentally ill. These “treatments” were nothing short of brutally inhumane. Patients were restrained in wet canvas for up to six hours at a time and forced into seizures by means of electric shock. The worst and most terrifying of these treatments was the prefrontal lobotomy, a form of psychosurgery that involved scrambling the frontal lobe of the brain with a sharp metal instrument inserted through the upper eye socket.

The hospital fell into steep decline in the late 1900s with the introduction of modern medicinal treatments, until it finally closed its doors in 1993. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997.


Images of Binghamton State Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Binghamton State Hospital


Books[edit]

  • Drunkard's Refuge: The Lessons of the New York State Inebriate Asylum, by John W. Crowley and William L. White

Links[edit]