Cottage Planned Institutions

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The Cottage Plan (also known as the colony plan in England) is a style of asylum planning that gained popularity at the very end of the 19th century and continued to be very popular well into the 20th century. Prior to the cottage plan, most institutions were built using the Kirkbride Plan which housed all patients and administration into one large building. It was found that the Kirkbride Plan lacked the proper facilities for noisy and violent patients. Cottage Plan institutions usually consisted of a multitude of individual buildings that housed a specific patient type. The buildings were normally two stories tall or less and were often connected to each other with a series of tunnels that were either half or fully submerged underground. Cottage Plan institutions would often be segregated by sex as well as patient type. For example there would be two individual buildings for convalescent patients, one for men and one for women. The two buildings would usually be located on opposite sides of the hospital complex. An administration building would typically be near the front and center of the complex and communal buildings, like a chapel, kitchen, gymnasium, or auditorium were often in the center.

Early Cottage plan

Early cottage plan buildings, typically built between 1900 and 1920, retained many of the ornate appearances and treatment methods of the Kirkbride Plan era. Early cottage plan buildings were typically no more than two stories tall, they were typically built of fireproof materials such as brick, stone, and slate. They were purpose built for a single type of patient and there were typically two sets of buildings for each, one for women and one for men. Hospital campuses usually resembles that of a college with large, well manicured lawns, flower beds, trees, fountains, and other decorative items. Typically an administration building was located at the front of the campus, patient buildings would encircle the campus with communal buildings such as a kitchen, chapel, or auditorium in the center. Power plants, laundry facilities, and farms were often located to the rear of the campus.

Utilitarian Cottage Plan

During the 1920s eugenics had firmly planted itself in mental health care. Hospitals had become less places of healing and more places to warehouse societies unwanted. So hospital construction caught up with the trend. Building remained cottage plan but with larger utilitarian buildings, such as at Harlem Valley in New York and Byberry in Philadelphia with its newly constructed "N Buildings".

Metropolitan Plan

The Metropolitan Plan refers to a plan seen almost exclusively in New York state during the 1930s. New York decided to take a step away from other states by building "super large buildings". These hospitals would become massive sprawling campuses, sometimes with multiple "super large buildings", one example of this would be Pilgrim State Hospital. At their peak these hospitals could easily house thousands of patients each, Pilgrim alone was able to hold almost 14,000 patients at it's peak. Most of the "super large buildings" are still in use as of 2011, while many of the smaller cottage plan building on their campuses have been demolished or left vacant.

Post Drug Cottage Plan

Hospitals built from about 1950 to the end of the twentieth century are referred to as the Post Drug Cottage Plan. During this time period hospitals tended to go back to smaller cottage type buildings or modest single buildings. They were almost always plain in appearance and were very utilitarian in nature. During this time period hospital populations were on the decline due to new medicines being developed for previously incurable diseases.

See Also

Category:Cottage Plan