Undercliff Sanatorium

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Undercliff Sanatorium
Construction Began 1910
Closed 1976
Demolished October 2013
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Meriden, CT
Alternate Names
  • Meriden Sanatorium
  • Undercliff Hospital
  • Undercliff Mental Health Center
  • Meriden Regional Center
  • Central Connecticut Regional Center
  • Altobello Youth Center


Undercliff State Hospital, or Meriden Sanatorium, was a Hospital on Undercliff Road, Meriden, Connecticut, United States. It was erected and established as Meriden Sanatorium in 1910 to serve children with tuberculosis. In 1922/1924 the name was changed to Undercliff Sanatorium. In 1939, the hospital began accepting adults. The large hospital, the Administration and Infirmary Building, was constructed by Kane and Fairchild. A nurses building, with a matching front facade to the hospital, was constructed next to the Administrative and Infirmary Building, and a children's isolation ward was constructed several years later at the bottom of Undercliff Road. In 1967 the name was changed from Undercliff Sanatorium to Undercliff Mental Health Center. As of 1976, the facility was discontinued. Several properties on the campus are used for storage for the Department of Developmental Services of Connecticut, as well as the Welfare Department, and the Department of Youth and Children Services. A detention center for the DDS still runs on the campus, housing violent developmentally disabled adults.

Demolition of the campus to make way for a juvenile courthouse began in October of 2013. The recreation section of the Administration and Infirmary Building was demolished, followed by the rear portion of the hospital. Current plans for the other buildings, currently used for storage, are unknown.


From Connecticut State Library:

  • 1910, established as the Meriden Sanatorium by the State Tuberculosis Commission
  • 1922/1924? Name changed to Undercliff Sanatorium
  • 1918, became first sanatorium in the country devoted exclusively to children (per 1952-1953 Digest of Administrative Reports)
  • 1939, Fall, began accepting adults
  • 1954, May, all children transferred to the the Seaside Sanatorium in Waterford. During 1954, adults were transferred to either Laurel Heights, Cedarcrest, or Uncas on Thames Sanatoria.
  • 1954, November 16, facility was made available for other purposes beside tuberculosis, administration for the facility was transferred to the Commission on the Care and Treatment of the Chronically Ill, Aged and Infirm.
  • 1956, July 1 Undercliff Hospital transferred from Commission for the Care and Treatment of the Chronically Ill, Aged and Infirm to the Dept. of Mental Health. Restructured as Undercliff Hospital, a rehabilitation facility for patients from the three state hospitals.
  • 1963, Oct. 1, statutory change allows Undercliff to function as a Mental Hospital and accept patients directly from an area designated by the Commissioner of Mental Health, as well as referrals from the state hospitals.
  • 1965, Jan., for the first time accepted and treated direct admissions from the city of Meriden.
  • 1967, Per P.A. 117, name change from Undercliff Hospital to Undercliff Mental Health Center. Meriden-Wallingford? Day Care Center begins using buildings on the grounds. Some buildings are transferred to Dept. of Health and will become the nucleus of the Meriden Regional Center.
  • 1976, Use of facility as an inpatient hospital is discontinued. In March admissions are no longer accepted; May 28, 1976, last patient was discharged. Most staff and equipment was transferred to Cedarcrest Hospital in Newington. The Outpatient Dept. was placed under the jurisdiction of Conn. Valley Hospital in Middletown and continued serving the area.
  • 1977, Per P.A. 77-220, transfer administration and control of facility and grounds from Commissioner of Mental Health to Commissioner of Children and Youth Services and the Commissioner of Mental Retardation.

Images of Undercliff Sanatorium[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Undercliff Sanatorium