Kirkbride Buildings Blog

January 14th, 2008

Warren State Hospital

Warren State Hospital
Pennsylvania state representative Kathy Rapp is working to “protect the patients, jobs and community services at Warren State Hospital.” Evidently there’s an effort in the state government to privatize elements of the institution. This effort is part of a larger “deinstitutionalization scheme”, which could possibly lead to further closings of state psychiatric centers such as Warren State Hospital. I found out about this at Pennsylvania Mental Health Issues which has a few posts about Warren State Hospital listed here.

Pennsylvania has two Kirkbride buildings that are still part of the state mental health system: the one in Warren, and one in Danville. There were at least three others: two of which have been demolished, and one that is now mostly used by private companies for non-psychiatric purposes. There may have been another Kirkbride in Pennsylvania that was demolished (raising the total count to six), but I haven’t confirmed that yet. I’ll post about it when I have more information.

While Warren State Hospital doesn’t appear to be in any immediate danger of being shut down, nor for that matter does Danville State Hospital, it appears the movement toward deinstitutionalization could make such closures inevitable. I don’t have anything against deinstitutionalization if it does in fact make the lives of the mentally ill better, but I do worry about these buildings being abandoned and possibly lost to demolition.

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  1. carol easter August 7, 2008, 8:13 am

    Walter Latos, committed his wife.

  2. Peter February 7, 2009, 7:13 am

    Hi I am tracing a Walter and Dorothy Latos. Any relation- he married in australia i think

  3. Dr. Paul February 24, 2010, 10:16 pm

    I worked at WSH from 1993 to 1997. It is definitely a hot spot of paranormal activity. But, it is still in use.

  4. Kathy McKee November 6, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Looking for Angelina V. Flick info. May be related to my Great Grandmother who was in a Colorado State Home. Last census report on her was 1930. Earlist report was 1900 census.

  5. Susan November 16, 2010, 8:47 am

    I am seeking information on a patient listed on the hospital’s 1920 census record. Orran (spelling varies) F Best was a relative from Clarion Co., Pa and died in 1921 at the hospital. He was brought home and buried in the family plot.

  6. Rob May 8, 2012, 12:33 am

    What was the possible Sixth PA Kirkbride?

  7. Rich Hedman February 10, 2015, 11:25 pm

    I grew up at Warren State Hospital. My entire childhood was spent on the grounds. From birth to age5 I lived in Farm Colony in a house (now gone) and we then moved to 219 N. Stat St., the original farmhouse of the grounds. My father worked for the State for 33 years. He was an industrial engineer who oversaw the entire facility (facility management). He worked with people like Mike Clark, Dunie Sandeen, Sonny Carlson, and many others that looked after me like I was their own. It was a wonderful place to grow up.

    My Memories of the Reinhardt’s (Dr. Harold Reinhardt, superintendent and his family) are always remembered fondly. I really miss the place and hope it remains for many years to come. There are so many historic buildings there that it would be a shame if we let them go.

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