History



Kalamazoo State Hospital

The main buildings of the Michigan Asylum for the Insane (later re-named the Kalamazoo State Hospital) were constructed in the mid to late 19th century as Kirkbride Buildings. Although the Kirkbride buildings no longer exist, the State Hospital is still a prominant historic figure in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Several miles away, a farm owned by the Hindes family located to the west of Drake Road and north of Parkview Avenue was purchased by the Kalamazoo State Hospital in 1887. The Asylum Lake property was also purchased later that year from the McMartin family. This land was to be used as a working farm for the patients to be modeled under the "Kirkbride Plan". This Colony Farm was designed to have the look of vacation homes in which patients could benefit therapuetically from working on a farm and enjoying the outside environment. Five cottages were constructed on the Asylum Lake property along with a heating plant, a pump house and a sewage disposal plant. It remained in operation until 1969 when it was phased out. In 1971 the buildings were demolished and the State of Michigan transferred the land to Western Michigan University.

 

 

Pictures of the Kirkbride Buildings built in the mid to late 19th century as part of the Kalamazoo State Hospital. These buildings have since been demolished and replaced by the current State Hospital buildings.

Exterior, Southern Section of East Front
Exterior, Southern Section of East Front
Exterior, Northern Section of East Front
Exterior, Northern Section of East Front
Exterior, West Rear Exterior, West Rear
Substructure Beneath First Floor
Substructure Beneath First Floor
Interior, Stair Hall, First Story
Interior, Stair Hall, First Story
Interior, Stair Detail
Interior, Stair Detail

 

 


 

The Cottages as part of the Kalamazoo State Hospital Colony Farm on Asylum Lake. Pictures were taken in the early 20th century.

WMU Archives & Regional History Collections


Hindes Cottage


Van Deusen Cottage

Palmer Cottage

Pratt Cottage

Mitchell Cottage

People seated on a bench near Van Deusen Cottage

Fair Oaks Cottage with Palmer Cottage in the background

Fair Oaks Cottage

Woman walking toward Mitchell Cottage

Lake view from Van Deusen Cottage

Hilltop cottages (left to right; Palmer, Fair Oaks, Mitchell)
 

 

 

 


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