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Utica Psychiatric Center

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The Utica Psychiatric Center, also known as Utica State Hospital, which opened in Utica, New York in 1843, was New York's first state-run facility designed to care for the mentally ill and was one of the first such institutions in the United States. It was originally called the New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica. The Greek Revival structure was designed by Captain William Clarke and was funded through a combination of money provided by the state and contributions raised by Utica residents.

The asylum's first director was Dr. Amariah Brigham, who in 1844 became one of the original founders of American Psychiatric Association. An early proponent of treating mental illness rather than simply confining its sufferers, Dr. Brigham believed that his patients would benefit from the opportunity to work on the asylum's farm and grounds and on other useful occupational projects. This method of treatment proved so successful that the concept is retained today in the form of Utica College. Dr. Brigham established a print shop at the asylum, where he published the American Journal of Insanity (later known as the American Psychiatric Journal).

The Center is now an unoccupied, run-down building. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1989.[1],[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ["Utica State Hospital Main Building", by Carolyn PittsPDF (805 KB) National Register of Historic Places Registration]. National Park Service.
  2. [Utica State Hospital Main Building--Accompanying photos, exterior and interior, from 1988, and renderings, from various dates.PDF (2900 KB) National Register of Historic Places Inventory]. National Park Service.

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