Fergus Falls State Hospital

Preservation Alert
Help Save the Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building

In the late nineteenth-century, overcrowding at Minnesota's two Kirkbride asylums in Rochester and St. Peter led to the creation of a third in Fergus Falls. Construction began in 1888 and was finished with completion of the central administration structure in 1906. Warren Dunnel of Minneapolis, Minnesota was the architect.

While most Kirkbrides have wings divided by sections joining at right angles, the sections here join at much wider angles. The resulting rough curve of the building's footprint is echoed in arched windows and the rounded turrets and connecting hallways. This gives the building a graceful and grand appearance which is somewhat offset by the rectangular central tower of the administration section. Much of the interior has been renovated extensively and is very modern. Original decorative elements still remain however, such as the ornate staircase in the center part of the Kirkbride, and the pervasive mosaic tiled floors. There are also some areas that have changed little since the early twentieth-century — a few wards in the North-East wing, and some staff living quarters in the administration area — but even these disused sections appear to be in solid condition.

Although still partly in use, the hospital has been declared surplus property by the state of Minnesota. The patient population has shrunk significantly and will soon be non-existant within the Kirkbride. The buildings and grounds are available for development in the near future and the city of Fergus Falls and the state of Minnesota are offering several incentives to anybody deciding to develop the property. For information on preservation and/or re-development please see Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center at FergusPhotos.com.

Other names for this hospital:

  • Third Minnesota State Hospital for the Insane
  • Fergus Falls Regional Treatement Center (RTC)


Forum Topics

Fergus Falls
From the upcoming Kirkbrides HD project due out next...
Photography At The Hospital
I am a photographer from the Rochester area and trying to find out if there is any way to get the opportunity to photograph the Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Any and all...
Fergus Falls Fire
In case you missed the blog post Fergus Falls Fire, there was a fire yesterday at the FF...

Blog Posts

There's Still Time: Save Fergus Falls
There's still a long way to go to cover the funding gap for Fergus Falls, and not much time to do so either — only a day or so left. I'm starting to sweat like Jerry Lewis at...
Help Save the Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building
The Friends of the Kirkbride are trying to raise $700,000 to cover a funding for redevelopment of the Fergus Falls Kirkbride. Read more about the story here: Fergus Falls...
Project Kirkbride
Christian VanAntwerpen had an idea recently to photograph "every inch" of the Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Kirkbride for posterity, and is now working to make his idea a...