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Harrisburg State Hospital , formerly known as Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital from 1851 to 1937, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania , Dauphin County , on Cameron and McClay Streets, was Pennsylvania’s first public facility to house the mentally ill and disabled. Architect(s): John Haviland / Addison Hutton Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Date: 1851 / 1935 Building Type: Health Care Construction System: Sandstone, Brick, Stone, Sandstone, Iron Building Style: Classical Revival [ edit ] History The Harrisburg State Hospital was created as the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital and Union Asylum for the Insane in 1845 to provide care for mentally ill persons throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania . The hospital was the result of the successful lobbying efforts of 19th century social reformer, Dorothea Dix . A nine member board of trustees was empowered to appoint a superintendent, purchase land, and construct facilities near Harrisburg.
From Asylum Projects [ edit ] History [ edit ] The following is from a 1916 report The establishment of a hospital for the relief of the insane poor of the state claimed the attention of the philanthropic at an early date. The first movement was made by the citizens of Philadelphia, who adopted a memorial which they presented to the Legislature at the session of 1838-39. A bill authorizing the erection of a state lunatic hospital was prepared and passed both houses, but did not receive the sanction of the Governor.