Rochester State Hospital

Rochester State Hospital's beginnings are slightly more convoluted than those of its contemporaries. Minnesota's state legislature originally planned to open the institution as an inebriate asylum. However, liquor dealers in the state vehemently opposed the tax levied on them for construction funds, many even refused to pay. The plan was eventually discarded, but an asylum for a wider range of mental illness was completed in the same location. The institution opened as the Second Minnesota Hospital for the Insane in 1879.

Early photographs of the Kirkbride show a short central tower, while more recent images show a rather tall one. This is strange considering the usual convention was to strip Kirkbrides of ornamental features over their lifespan. A photograph of the building with the shorter tower can be seen here. Also of interest is this photograph of the grounds.

The Kirkbride building was demolished in 1964 to make room for new construction. The state hospital continued life at the same location until 1982, when it closed. The property is now home to a prison.

Other names for this hospital:

  • Second Hospital for the Insane


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