Asylum Building Plan Sandbox

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I am creating this page to help us write out different plans in one area before we go onto adjusting/creating new plans.

Use this page as a blackboard/sandbox to sketch out your ideas outside the message boards. Do not hesitate to come up with an idea and run with it here.

Here is a link to the current conversation pertaining to this page: Special:AWCforum/st/id136/#post_927

Current/Old plan layout

Here is how the building plans are laid out as of now:

  • United States Congregate Style
    • Cottage Planned Institutions
    • Kirkbride Planned Institutions
  • United Kingdom Congregate Style
    • Corridor Plan Institutions
    • Echelon Plan Institutions
    • Pavilion Plan Institutions
    • Radial Plan Institutions
  • Single Building Institutions
  • Rambling Planned Institutions

Timeline/new plans

  • Pre-1854 Plans: These are mental hospitals built before Kirbride had come out with his plan. This would include Utica State Hospital, Hartford Retreat, Eastern State Hospital, and probably a couple more that i cannot think of off the top of my mind.
  • 1854-1888 Kirkbride Plan: These are plans based on what Dr. Krikbride had laid out in his book. This not only includes building architecture, but ground layout and patient treatment.
    • Early Kirkbrides: These are small buildings laid out to the Kirkbride plan in it's early states. What might characterize these buildings would be their closeness/compactness. The wings are much closer together with the wards connected directly together.
    • Late Kirkbrides: These are Kirbrides that have attempted to improve on the design by spacing out the wards more with larger connecting hallways that are typically curving.
  • 1865 The Willard Plan was created as an offshoot in response to the ever increasing patient population of "incurables" that could not be worked with. These hospitals were more custodial the curative.
  • 1888 We see the Willard Plan supplanted by an early version of the cottage plan where cheaper buildings are created on existing hospital properties for patients classified as "incurable"
  • 1888 We also begin to see various Transition Plans, where superintendents/asylum designers are trying to come up with a new layout to help relieve the problems found/seen in the older Kirkbride planned hospitals. What marks these hospitals is their varying designs.
  • 1900 We see the clear establishment of a Cottage Plan as we have come to know it, separate patient cottages to separate by type, a medical building, administration, separate cafeteria buildings, etc. This is the model seen with Byberries E and C buildings, post kirk Harrisburg, Norwich, etc.
  • 1920's Utilitarian Cottage Plan eugenics had firmly planted itself in mental health care. Hospitals had become less places of healing and more places to warehouse societies unwanted. So hospital construction caught up with the trend. Building remained cottage plan but with larger utilitarian buildings, such as at Harlem Valley in NY at Byberry with its new N buildings.
  • 1930's New York Plan (Name change needed?) New York took a step away from other states in the 1930's by building their own super large buildings. Examples: Rockford State Hospital, Pilgrim State Hospital, Edgewood State Hospital, Hudson River State Hospital, Kings Park State Hospital.
  • 1950's Post Drug Cottage Plan hospital building slows as drugs become the primary treatment. Hospitals go back to smaller cottage type buildings, such as Haverford State Hospital.
  • 1970's and beyond we see the move to huge modern single buildings housing all the services of the hospital, while hospitals over all began to slowly decrease in size. Modern Plan

New Infobox Layout

St Elizabeths Hospital
St Elizabeths Hospital
Established 1852
Construction Began 1852
Construction Ended 1855
Opened 1855
Current Status Active
Building Style




Architect(s) Thomas U. Walter; Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge
Location Washington, DC
Architecture Style Gothic Revival, Gothic
Peak Patient Population 7,000
Alternate Names
  • Government Hospital for the Insane
  • United States Government Hospital for the Insane