Anoka State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center is the current name of what was originally the First State Asylum for the Insane (1900-1919), Anoka State Asylum (1919-1937), and Anoka State Hospital (1937-1985). The first 100 patients arrived at the newly opened Anoka Asylum in March 1900. The group of men who traveled by train from the St. Peter hospital were classified as “incurables.” The asylum was not built originally as a place for treatment. Rather it was where most of these men would live out their days. According to historical records, 86 of those first 100 patients died there and many were buried in numbered graves at the cemetery on the grounds. |+|
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|−|By 1906, 115 female patients had been transferred to the hospital from the facility in St. Peter. In 1909, it was decided that Anoka would admit only female transfer patients and that the state hospital in Hastings would admit the male transfer patients. However, construction of an additional building in 1925 allowed the hospital once again to admit male patients. |+|
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|−|As treatment of the mentally ill evolved, so did conditions and treatment at Anoka. Among the procedures performed in the 1940s and ’50s were lobotomies, some done at the University of Minnesota. In the 1950s, treatments included electroshock therapy and hydrotherapy. In 1948, Gov. Luther Youngdahl allowed a reporter and a photographer from the Minneapolis Tribune to tour the state’s seven hospitals, including Anoka. The articles that followed exposed harsh conditions. [[ Anoka State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Metropolitan State Hospital
It became apparent that while the mental health system as a whole was overcrowded, the most urgent need was in the metropolitan area. Intense debate over possible solutions occurred in 1908-1926. The Trustees of the newly acquired Boston State Hospital advocated for expansion of their facility to a 5,000 patient capacity, but were unable to convince the State Board of Insanity of the merits of that proposal. The need for a second metropolitan area hospital was identified as early as 1908.
Introduced to the state legislature in 1912, the board authorized spending in January of 1915. A site that was in close proximity to the Walter E. Fernald State School was immediately acquired. Plans were prepared for a 1,900 patient facility to be built on the cottage/colony plan. No action was taken for several years due to the Trustees of Boston State Hospital continue to argue for their own expansion and the first World War diverted state attention and funds.
Finally, in 1927, the State legislature responded by appropriating $1,500,000 for preparation of the Waltham site. The ground breaking ceremony took place on December 27, 1927 at the Administration Building. Cornerstone laying ceremonies were held on October 17, 1928. Construction costs were kept down by the use of the plain red brick buildings of early American colonial type. Trim elements, including pedimented pavilions and quoins, were deleted from the ward buildings. Click here for more...