Cincinnati Sanitarium

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Cincinnati Sanitarium
Established 1873
Opened 1873
Closed 1956
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Cincinnati, OH
Alternate Names


The Cincinnati Sanitarium was located in the College Hill neighborhood. Three doctors established the Sanitarium because they saw a need for a private care psychiatric facility. The 32-acre property was purchased from the Ohio Female College in 1873. Patients were treated for mental illness as well as alcohol and opium addictions. In addition to the main hospital, there were four two-story cottages, an amusement hall with a billiard hall in the basement, a flower conservatory, several physical plant buildings, an ice house and even a station for the Cincinnati Northwestern railroad.

In 1913 a nearby large residence adjacent to the property was purchased. Called the “Rest Cottage”, it was used in the care of individuals with “nervous and nutritional disorders”. The buildings were situated in the middle of a 30-acre park with fruit trees, shrubs, flowers, an artificial lake, gravel walks, a highly cultivated vegetable garden and a living spring. A major change in the landscape occurred in 1927 when the lake was drained.

By 1956, the Cincinnati Sanitarium was renamed for Emerson Arthur North, MD, a pioneer in clinical psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati. The 95-bed psychiatric hospital specialized in serving adults, adolescents and children in need of treatment for behavioral, emotional and chemical dependency problems. During the 1960s and early 70s, Emerson A. North Hospital became part of the Cincinnati Mental Health Institute, serving as the inpatient component of the community mental health centers. A new facility was built in 1988 (Phoenix International). The hospital closed in 1994 when its services moved to Providence Hospital in Mt. Airy. In 1994 the campus was occupied for six years by Phoenix International, a company that conducted clinical trails of drugs for the pharmaceutical industry. The clinic closed after it was sold to another company and operations were consolidated.

Today the property is home to the Cincinnati Children's College Hill Campus, a hospital that treats mental illness for children and adolescents.