From Asylum Projects
Both the Greystone
Kirkbride buildings are in danger of being partially or completely demolished.
Please click on the link above for more information and to see how you can help.
The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.
This site is dedicated to the history of asylums in all forms. The term of asylum is applied to not only what is commonly thought of: mental hospitals, but can also be applied to sanatoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses, and orphanages. These institutions have and continue to play a major part in today's society.
Everyone throughout the United States and in many other countries has in one way or another felt the touch of these institutions. These places have both directly and indirectly affected people and their families. They have shaped lives and created many popular myths about them.
With all that in mind, this site was created to help in the historical research of any institutions that can be classified as an asylum. It was created for both serious researchers, those who are doing genealogical research, and people with an interest in asylums.
Featured Article Of The Week
Hudson County Hospital for the Insane
The Hudson County Hospital for the Insane was located on what was then called Snake Hill, now Laurel Hill, which was a large igneous rock formation jutting some 150 feet from the floor of the otherwise flat swamps of the New Jersey "Meadowlands". Snake Hill first housed the counties Penitentiary and Almshouse, where the county's insane were maintained from their creation in 1863 until the construction of an independent Asylum Institution in 1894. This new building was located adjacent to the almshouse and was built originally for 250 patients.
The design consisted of a central administration building flanked on either side by a male and female wing which began as a single ward building each and connected to the administration via connecting "bridges". This building was four stories tall and 552 feet long and 8- feet wide. In 1916 it was recorded by the American Medico-Psychological Association; Committee on a History of the Institutional Care of the Insane, that a new wing on the male side was being constructed with modern treatment apparatus and planned was a similar expansion to the female side. The administration housed apartments for the superintendent as well as the hospitals offices.
As was the standard procedure at the time the county asylum provided housing for the chronic insane of the county, providing custodial care rather than real treatment. The acute cases and those deemed curable were sent to the State Insane Hospitals such as Trenton State Hospital or Greystone Park State Hospital. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
The Dayton State Hospital
was first occupied September, 1855, with a capacity of 162, known as the Southern Ohio Lunatic Asylum. In the year 1875, it was changed to Western Ohio Hospital for the Insane; in 1877, to the Dayton Hospital for the Insane; in 1878, to the Dayton Asylum for the Insane; and in 1894, to the Dayton State Hospital and was located on a hill southeast of the city of Dayton.
Upcoming Events Calendar
Asylum News (news you can edit!)
January 27, 2014 A kinder approach: Former Allentown State Hospital CEO is recognized for reducing restraint tactics
- The former CEO walks on the roof of the Allentown State Hospital. He is armed with his high-definition camera and decades of memories to provide context to what he sees. Each step on the roof frames a new perspective of the hospital he helped to transform. The rooms in the former psychiatric center are empty. It has been three years since the hospital closed. For Greg Smith, it is easy to reminisce. He can fill in the blanks, but there aren't many signs of what used to happen at the 100-year-old campus.
January 27, 2014 Taunton State Hospital again faces closure
- The state's plan to close the inpatient unit at Taunton State Hospital reflects a philosophical shift that emphasizes community-based services over institutional care, a mental health official said Friday. For the third straight year, the state is proposing to move all inpatient beds from Taunton State Hospital to the new Worcester Recovery Center. In each of the past two years, the state faced staunch local opposition. As a compromise struck in the Legislature, 45 beds currently remain at Taunton State, which used to have about 170.