Harrisburg State Hospital: Pennsylvania's First Public Asylum
Harrisburg State Hospital opened in 1851 as the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital, the first public institution in the state. Situated atop a hill overlooking the Susquehanna River, the original building was an early example of a Kirkbride design hospital. The facility closed in 2006 after serving the commonwealth for 155 years. Harrisburg State Hospital: Pennsylvania s First Public Asylum presents a pictorial history of the hospital from the first year of only 12 patients through the peak of state care, when the population reached over 2,500 in the 1950s. Harrisburg State Hospital was an innovative leader in the treatment of the mentally ill, pioneering new methods of therapy even before they were common practice. It was a community and a home for those whom society could not otherwise care for."
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Administration Building administration section Admissions Building annual report appropriations Author’s collection barn Boiler House building was completed built caption Central Kitchen chapel commissioners corridor Courtesy of William Dangerous and Destructive day rooms Department of Public designed Destructive Building Dorothea Dix early Eaton farm Female Nurses Home female patients fireproof floor plan hallway Harrisburg State Hospital hospital trustees hospital’s hydrotherapy Ice House Infirmary Insane John Curwen John Haviland laundry operations legislature located Lunatic Hospital magic lantern Main Building main floor Male Convalescent Building Male Dangerous male patients mentally ill moral treatment morgue North Branch Building occupational therapy patient buildings patient rooms patients and staff Pennsylvania Department Pennsylvania Hospital Pennsylvania State Archives Philadelphia photograph reads pounds Public Welfare rear second floor seen set of wards steam structure Sun Parlor taken third floor treatment tuberculosis undated image shows undated photograph shows unreleased postcard shows ward dining rooms waterworks