Columbus State Hospital

Columbus State Hospital first opened in 1838 and was originally known as the "Lunatic Asylum of Ohio". After a fire devastated the original asylum in 1868, the Ohio Legislature authorized reconstruction of the institution on a different tract of land. An immense Kirkbride building was completed in 1877. Construction took seven years and the total cost was over $1,500,000.

The building was very similar in appearance to the Athens State Hospital Kirkbride, although it was significantly larger. The distance around the foundation was reportedly one and a quarter miles in length. The building was designed to accommodate 850 patients—well over Dr. Kirkbride's prescribed 250 patient limit and still greater than the more generous AMSAII recommendation of 600 patients.

The institution closed in the late 1980s. Unfortunately, attempts at preservation failed and the Kirkbride was razed in 1991. The Ohio Department of Public Safety and Department of Transportation now call the former asylum grounds home, sharing them with four remaining hospital cemeteries.

Other names for this hospital:

  • Lunatic Asylum of Ohio
  • Central Ohio Psychiatric Center


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