Colorado State Hospital

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Colorado State Hospital
Colorado State Hospital
Established 1877
Opened 1879
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Pueblo, CO
Peak Patient Population 5,800 in 1962
Alternate Names
  • Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo
  • Colorado State Insane Asylum



History[edit]

The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo opened as the Colorado State Insane Asylum on October 23, 1879 on 40 acres of land in northwest Pueblo donated by George M. Chilcott, Colorado's first United States senator. On that date, 11 patients were admitted, nine males and two females from 12 different counties of the state. In 1917, the insane asylum was renamed the Colorado State Hospital. By 1923, the census the hospital climbed to 2,422 and continued to grow until 1961 when the hospital had nearly 6,000 patients. Like many state psychiatric hospitals at that time, it was a self-contained city, providing all the patients' needs within 300 acres of land on the main grounds and 5,000 acres at the dairy farm.

By 2005, however, the patient census declined to less than 450 patients, a result of the development of medications specifically for mental disorders, and a change in the philosophy and treatment of the mentally ill. The sign at the entrance still reads "Colorado State Hospital" although in 1991 the Colorado Department of Human Services psychiatric facilities names were changed to Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo and Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan.

Images of Colorado State Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Colorado State Hospital


Books[edit]

"The 13th Street Review: A Pictorial History of the Colorado State Hospital - Now CMHIP" By Nell Mitchell

Museum[edit]

Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo Museum is located in the former Superintendent's Residence at 13th and Francisco Streets in Pueblo, Colorado. CMHIP Museum is open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for tours and research purposes or by appointment by calling the Museum at 719 543-2012. Museum Website