Dannemora State Hospital

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Dannemora State Hospital
Dannemora State Hospital
Established 1896
Opened 1900
Closed 1975 (as a psychiatric facility)
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Dannemora, NY
Alternate Names
  • Dannemora State Hospital for Insane Convicts
  • Adirondack Correctional Treatment and Evaluation Center
  • Clinton Correctional Facility Annex


Four years after the opening of the Matteawan State Hospital it had become evident that that institution would soon be overcrowded. The conditions were such that Governor Morton, in his annual message in 1896, recommended the erection of a building on state land at Dannemora, where convict labor from Clinton Prison would be available. The Legislature, acting upon this recommendation, appropriated $25,000 from the prison capital fund and work was begun. After some delay, due to insufficient appropriations, a comparatively small section of the institution as planned was, in 1900, made ready for the reception of patients. At this time there had been completed at Dannemora a block with two wards for patients, connecting with a central loggia on the first floor and a small infirmary on the second, an employees’ dining room, the main kitchen and the power house. There were no office rooms nor staff quarters and the superintendent and his assistants were obliged to appropriate for such use the operating room, pharmacy and three or four small guard rooms.

Dannemora State Hospital for Insane Convicts opened in 1900. Dannemora confined and cared for male inmates who were declared insane while serving sentences. Matteawan State Hospital transferred to Dannemora all male inmates who had at least six months left to serve on their sentences. Males serving sentences for felonies in State prisons, reformatories, or penitentiaries, and who were declared insane, were also transferred to Dannemora. In 1912, the name of the institution was changed to the Dannemora State Hospital. In 1972, Dannemora closed and all inmates were transferred to Matteawan.

When Dannemora State Hospital closed, the site became the Adirondack Correctional Treatment and Evaluation Center. This facility offered programs for the rehabilitation of persistent offenders and included a diagnostic team of specialists in psychiatry and psychology. In 1975, the Center closed and the site was converted into the Clinton Annex, a medium security facility for male inmates. Camp Adirondack, a medium security work camp, was also established at the site in 1975. The following year, Camp Adirondack was transferred to Ray Brook and was renamed the Adirondack Correctional Facility.

ACTEC's staffing did not survive budget cutbacks. It closed in 1975, and its grounds and buildings were then annexed to Clinton. Clinton Annex maintained the DSH/ACTEC site's treatment tradition. The Merle Cooper program was introduced in 1977 for inmates who have trouble adjusting to incarceration and to deal with inmates' real or imagined fears of other inmates, and to transition them into the general population. In 2013 the Merle Cooper Program was eliminated and a Special Needs Unit in the main portion of Clinton Correctional was established as an alternative method of programming. Late December the Cuomo administration announced that the Watertown and Gowanda Correctional facilities and the Clinton Annex, part of the Clinton Correctional Facility, will be closed by March 30th.