Old Main Building – Osawatomie State Hospital

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1869 | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Demolished (2003)
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

Photo by: Unknown

The Old Main Building was built in 1869 at a cost of $20,000. It was built to replace all of the existing structures on the Osawatomie State Hospital grounds. It was built exactly to the specifications of the “Kirkbride Plan”, having a central building and two wings, swept back in sections.

The central structure, which is the only part of the building remaining today, is five stories high. It has an auditorium with a stage in it to provide patients with their entertainment. It had a balcony looking down on the stage too. The central part of the building held the workers, nurses, and the superintendent. Its wings were east and west and they were tore down in 1971. The wings were 300 feet long each with them being swept back every 50 feet or so. The wings were two stories high and accommodated about 700 patients in each wing. It is one mammoth of a structure looking down over Marais des Cygnes River down on the small town of Osawatomie, Kansas it looks like a castle from the town.

The Old Main Building is the oldest Mental Health Building surviving west of the Mississippi River. In May of 2002, Kansas State Governor, Governor Bill Graves signed a bill that would start bids to demolish the building.

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