Mayview State Hospital

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Mayview State Hospital
Established Sept 29, 1938 (As a PA State Hospital)
Construction Began 1897
Closed December 2008
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Peak Patient Population 3,785 in 1967
Alternate Names *Mayview Poor House
  • Marshalsea
  • Pittsburgh City Home and Hospital at Mayview

Mayview 04.jpg
In 1804 the overseers for the city of Pittsburgh established the first home for the care of paupers located on the south side of the city. In 1818, an increase in the size of the indigent population resulted in the construction of the Allegheny City Almshouse that continued in operation until 1848. On September 1, 1846, the overseers of the city of Pittsburgh purchased 102.5 acres of land along the Monongahela River at Homestead in Mifflin township. The City Poor Farm at Homestead constructed upon this tract opened in 1852 and by 1879 a separate building was erected for treatment of the insane. Once again, overcrowding forced the hospital to relocate and in 1892 construction on a new institution named Marshalsea began in South Fayette Township at Upper St. Clair. In response to the need for adequate medical care for inmates, a general hospital was also erected at this site in 1909. Allegheny City, located on Pittsburgh's North Side, also maintained an institution for the poor and insane at Claremont that later became known as Blawnox. When Allegheny City became part of the city of Pittsburgh on December 6, 1907 the patients of Claremont were transferred to Marshalsea. By 1916, the State Legislature gave its consent to change the name of the hospital from Marshalsea to the Pittsburgh City Home and Hospital at Mayview. In accordance with an act of 1938 that required the state to take over all institutions for the care of the mentally ill,the State of Pennsylvania took control of the mental section (Mayview State Hospital) in 1941. The City of Pittsburgh continued to operate the Pittsburgh City Home at Mayview that served the indigent. In March 1973, the Department of Public Welfare made plans to move patients judged to be criminally insane from Fairview State Hospital to Mayview. In 1982, an adolescent center was transferred from Woodville State Hospital to Mayview. During the closing of Dixmont State Hospital in 1984, the deaf unit was transferred to Mayview. As of 1998, Mayview State Hospital is still in operation.

From the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare web page: Mayview was built by the City of Pittsburgh in 1897 and served as a home for the poor through 1941 when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took over the operations. Since that time the process of care and treatment has gone through many changes. The patient population reached a high point of 3785 in June of 1967. Since that time the population as gradually been reduced to a total of 354 today. We have nearly 800 employees providing services today compared to only slightly more than 1200 when the census was over 3000. This gives us the ability to individualize care and form a true therapeutic alliance with everyone we serve.

The hospital provides services to Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, Lawrence and Washington Counties. In addition, the forensic division of the hospital provides services to clients from the entire region west of Harrisburg.

Mayview State Hospital closed in December of 2008.

Images of Mayview State Hospital

Main Image Gallery: Mayview State Hospital

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