Mount Pleasant State Hospital

Originally known as the Iowa Lunatic Asylum, Mount Pleasant State Hospital opened in 1861. It was the first public asylum in the state of Iowa, and was built between 1855 and 1865 at a cost of approximately $400,000.

The Kirkbride building was designed in a relatively modest Elizabethan style by architect Jonathan Preston of Boston, Massachusetts. Apparently, Dr. Kirkbride himself recommended Mr. Preston to the Iowa state commission.

In 1936, a fire devastated most of the administration section, sparing only a kitchen services area at the back. The state built a more modern structure in its place. Some time later in the twentieth-century, the Kirkbride's wings were torn down, and today there isn't really anything left of the original building. After Mount Pleasant was built, Iowa constructed three other Kirkbride asylums in the cities of Cherokee, Clarinda, and Independence, all three of which still stand and are in use today.

Other names for this hospital:

  • Iowa Lunatic Asylum, Mount Pleasant
  • Mount Pleasant Insane Asylum
  • Mount Pleasant Hospital for the Insane
  • Mount Pleasant Mental Health Institute

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