Southern Illinois Tourism:

Choate Mental Health Center

Anna State Hospital
Construction Began 1869
Opened 1875
Current Status
Building Style
Location Anna, IL
Peak Patient Population 2, 100 in 1955
Alternate Names
  • Clyde Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center
  • Southern Illinois State Hospital
  • Choate State Hospital

History

Southern Hospital for the Insane, located at Anna, Union County, founded by act of the Legislature in 1869. The original site comprised 290 acres and cost a little more than $22, 0000, of which one-fourth was donated by citizens of the county. The construction of buildings was begun in 1869, but it was not until March 1875, that the north wing (the first completed) was ready for occupancy. Other portions were completed a year later. The Trustees purchased 160 additional acres in 1883. The first cost (up to September, 1876) was nearly $635, 000. In 1881 one wing of the main building was destroyed by fire, and was subsequently rebuilt; the patients being, meanwhile, cared for in temporary wooden barracks. The total value of lands and buildings belong to the State, June 30, 1894, was estimated at $738, 580, and, of property of all sorts, at $833, 700. The wooden barracks were later converted into a permanent ward, additions made to the main buildings, a detached building for the accommodations of 300 patients erected, numerous outbuildings put up and general improvements made. A second fire on the night of Jan. 3, 1895, destroyed a large part of the main building, inflicting a loss upon the State of $175, 000.00. Provision was made for rebuilding by the Legislature of that year. The institution has capacity for about 750 patients.

As of August 2008 part of the original Kirkbride building still remains. The remaining sections are only the first two floors of the administration and a piece of wing off either side. The upper floors were destroyed by fire.

Images of Anna State Hospital

Source: www.asylumprojects.org
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