: Photograph book titled, "Picturesque Athens Asylum: Views In and About Athens Asylum for the Insane." In April 1867, the Athens State Hospital was created by an act of the Ohio General Assembly, which appointed three trustees to purchase land and erect a building for the care and treatment of at least 40 patients. Serving the surrounding counties, the Athens hospital supplemented the three existing asylums for the insane at Columbus, Newburgh (Cleveland) and Dayton. Designed by Cleveland architect Levi Scofield and opened in 1874, the hospital was located about one mile west of the city of Athens. The institution has had several name changes: Athens Lunatic Asylum (January- April 1874), South Eastern Ohio Hospital for the Insane (1874-1876), Athens Hospital for the Insane (1876-1878), Athens Asylum for the Insane (1878-1894), Athens State Hospital, Southeastern Ohio Mental Health Center, Athens Mental Health and Developmental Center, and Athens Mental Health Center. Originally, the hospital's grounds consisted of a park-like setting, creating a calming environment which doctors hoped would assist patients in recovering their mental health. Patients worked in the gardens, the greenhouse, the orchards, or the dairy, helped to tend livestock, or found employment in the asylum's carriage shop. The asylum also boasted a physical plant that heated the various buildings with steam heat. Many of the patients were never released from the hospital. Most of these people were buried in the asylum's cemetery.
The asylum closed as a mental hospital in 1993. Ohio University eventually purchased the grounds, renaming the site "The Ridges" and renovating buildings for classroom and administrative use, including the Kennedy Museum of Art. The hospital is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. View on Ohio Memory.
: Page1 Subjects
: Mental illness--Treatment--Ohio; Asylums--Ohio; Psychiatric hospitals--Ohio; National Register of Historic Places; Architecture--Ohio; Places
: Athens (Ohio); Athens County (Ohio)