Difference between revisions of "Burn-Brae"

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File:Burn Brae 1885 Report.jpg
File:Burn Brae 1885 Report.jpg
File:Burn Brae 1892 Map.jpg
File:Burn Brae 1889 RR Map.jpg

Revision as of 03:26, 7 February 2012

Established 1859
Construction Began 1859
Opened 1860
Closed 1969
Demolished 1971
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Clifton Heights, Delaware County
Alternate Names
  • Burn Brae Retreat for the Insane

Burn Brae was a private 40 bed hospital for mental and nervous diseases which operated in Clifton Heights, a suburb of Philadelphia. It was founded by Dr. R.A. Given, opening in 1860. The hospital continued to serve as a mental hospital until 1969 when it closed. When originally opened it was 8.5 miles from the city of Philadelphia and located near the Oak lane station of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore RR.

In the summer of 1859, Dr. R.A. Given erected buildings near the village of Clifton, and established a private hospital for patients afflicted with nervous and mental diseases. It was designed to accomodate forty patients, twenty male and twenty female. The main building was originally constructed of stone, three stories high with a basement. Shortly after construction a mansard was added giving the building a fourth floor in which the amusement hall was located. Each department contains four wards, a parlor, a hallway 60' long and 8' wide, and a bath room. Though both sexes were originally housed in the same building. Many improvements have been made from time to time in different halls, rendering the accomodations more perfect and attractive. On the ladies' side an an annex building measuring 30'x 50' had been erected by 1885, rendered necessary by the enlargement of the rooms in the main structure. The hospital's grounds were originally 25 acres but by 1885 had been expanded to 43 acres. The 25 acres dedicated to patient recreation are handsomely laid out and planted with a variety of ornamental trees, evergreen and diceduous. A farm of thirty two acres, part heavily wooded, capable of being converted into drives and walks of great attractiveness has been added; thus, besides escuring to the patients perfect privacy, affording them in their walks, the pleasing variety of hill and valley, meadow, brook and woodland. No efforts have been spared to render the building fire proof. Fire escapes are attached to both wings and in addition arrangements exist on each floor to enable the occupants to pass readily from side to side without resort to the stairs. The building throughout is thoroughly heated with steam and lighted by gas. Hot and cold water is abundantly distributed throughout the entire establishment.

From the 1884 Philadelphia Medical Registry

"This institutional although not within in the city limits, is so near them as to be properly mentioned in connection with the objects of this work. It is a private Hospital for mental disease, and derives it support from the payments made for board and medical care of patients. No patient is received for a less period than three months. A certificate of insanity, signed by two physicians, and acknowledged before a magustrate, is invariably required. A lady, well educated and of unexceptionable manners and deportment, resides in the same apartments, and devotes her time to lady patients, thus securing them on all ocasions a pleasant companion and a watchful friend. A limited number of cases of Opium habit can be admitted."

Images of Burn-Brae