The Story

An Historical Narrative of the South Carolina State Hospital at Bull Street

By: Diana Garnett, Stephanie Gray, Kayla Halberg

Before the nineteenth century there was little government interference with the care of the mentally ill; instead, families were usually responsible for caring for their loved ones. In the late seventeenth century through the eighteenth century, however, South Carolina made several attempts to provide state care for its mentally ill and poor citizens. In 1695 South Carolina’s Lord’s Proprietors enacted a version of the English Poor Law, requiring the colony to offer care and funding for the poor and mentally ill. From 1712 to 1738, individual parishes paid citizens to care for the mentally ill in private homes, and in 1738, the colony constructed a workhouse to reduce the financial burden of caring for the poor. Members of the Fellowship Society (established in 1762) and other concerned citizens sought to relieve the poor and mentally ill of the workhouse’s terrible conditions through the construction of a Poor House and Hospital in Charleston.[1] Unfortunately, the hospital was destroyed during the Revolutionary War, leaving the new legislature of South Carolina with a clean slate to construct the future of mental health care in the state.[2]

In the late-eighteenth century, ideas about mental health began to change. Until this time, mental health care was, in large part, custodial. In the last decade of the eighteenth-century, the French physician Philippe Pinel and English Quaker William Tuke revolutionized the care of the insane by introducing traitement moral, or moral treatment. According to Carla Yanni, an architectural historian who has written one of the only comprehensive works on asylum architecture, traitement moral encouraged benevolent care that treated the mind rather than the body with activities, a structured environment, strict schedule, and rejection of physical restraints.[3] Nineteenth-century reformers and advocates of moral treatment believed that the environment – including architecture – influenced behavior, and that proper conditions could cure disease.[4] Asylums were accordingly purpose-built to offer a curative environment that was well ventilated, well lit, and provided sufficient space for exercise and views of the landscape. Purpose-built structures were designed and constructed with a particular goal of treatment in mind, and in the case of asylum architecture, the ultimate goal was to send patients home cured of mental disease.

In the early nineteenth-century, South Carolina was a national leader in implementing the new method of moral treatment for the mentally ill in the United States. In 1815, state legislators Samuel Farrow and William Crafts spearheaded a group of reformers, including doctors, educators, lawyers, and social activists, in a campaign for the construction of a new lunatic asylum that upheld the principles established by Pinel and Tuke.[5] In 1821 the South Carolina Legislature approved the plans for an asylum and passed “An Act to authorize the erection of suitable buildings for a Lunatic Asylum, and a school for the deaf and dumb.”[6] The act established a committee to oversee the design and construction of a building “suitable for the purposes of a lunatic asylum.”[7] The committee entrusted the task of designing the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum with State Architect and Engineer Robert Mills for several reasons: the state was already paying his salary, he lived in Columbia, and most importantly, his design reflected the changes in mental health care and asylum architecture in Europe and the United States.[8]

Following the lead of William Tuke’s grandson Samuel Tuke, who constructed the purpose-built Friends Asylum for the Quaker community near Philadelphia in 1817, Mills designed a building that complied with the ideal principles for a curative environment, allowing for ventilation and room for indoor and outdoor exercise, and providing ample light and room for patients.[9] The grand, stately exterior of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, now known as the Mills Building for its famous architect, is characteristic of Greek Revival-style architecture, which became popular during the first quarter of the nineteenth century and remained so until the 1860s. The central portion of the north-facing façade is five stories high, including a raised basement. Over the entrance to the raised basement is a portico with six plastered-brick, Doric columns supporting a triangular pediment. Wings to the east and west of the central structure are four-stories high, and mimic the Flemish-brick bond pattern of the central building and replicate window type and spacing for consistency and balance. Inside the asylum, the central building housed communal spaces, guest rooms, and rooms for employees, as well as hospital and surgical rooms, a kitchen, and dining areas, while the wings consisted of single-loaded corridors, which featured patient rooms only along the south-facing side. As designed, cells housed one patient each to provide comfort and privacy, which were key components of curative care. Not only did the building’s design comply with standards for moral treatment, but it also projected a grand image of a state institution that was recognizable to the upper-class money the asylum hoped to attract.[10]

While the South Carolina legislature hoped that the asylum would support itself through patient fees, fears about early mental health care kept many families from admitting their relatives. Although the first patient entered the asylum in December 1828, it was not until the 1830s and 1840s that patient numbers began to rise, which was a result of acts passed in 1842 and 1848. The first of these two acts required all South Carolina districts to send pauper patients to the asylum and provide financially for their care.[11] In 1848, the state passed another law authorizing the “admission of Persons of Color into the Lunatic Asylum.”[12] The construction of two additions to both the east and west wings of the building, as well as several outbuildings and temporary wards on the site, indicate that the asylum experienced marked growth between the mid-1830s and the 1850s. By the early 1850s, asylum Superintendent J. W. Parker and Dr. Daniel Trezevant began to request more land and a new building.[13]

The 1850s ushered in a new era for the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum. Although Mills’ original designs for the Lunatic Asylum allowed for expansion of the building, he and the early commissioners did not anticipate the large increase of patients, nor the needs of the asylum three decades after its construction. Additionally, ideas about asylum architecture and psychiatric care continued to evolve, and in 1851 the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane (AMSAII) published Dr. Thomas Kirkbride’s architectural guidelines.[14] In keeping with the idea of moral treatment, Kirkbride emphasized the importance of architectural and landscape design. His guidelines suggested that states and private officials construct asylums away from city centers on large plots of land for gardens, recreation, and farming for patients. Additionally, Kirkbride encouraged asylum architects to construct buildings with high ceilings, wide, double-loaded corridors, and tall windows to allow for proper ventilation.[15] The Kirkbride plan, which served as the model for the construction of asylums throughout the nineteenth-century, included a central-main structure that served administrative purposes, flanked by wings on both sides that created a low-V shape that allowed for later additions.[16]

Annual Reports of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum from the early 1850s suggest that Parker and Trezevant were familiar with Kirkbride’s guidelines, and used them to advocate for the construction of a “New Asylum,” later known as the Babcock Building. Trezevant proposed that in the South Carolina summer heat, a single-loaded corridor with rooms lining only one side of the corridor and windows along the other side would allow patients more airflow and sunlight.[17] Parker, supported by a letter from Kirkbride himself, argued successfully for a double-loaded corridor. Kirkbride had been adamant that an institution should house a maximum capacity of 250 patients. Trezevant, however, desired that the New Asylum be able to accommodate the burgeoning population of the asylum, and proposed room for 400 patients; at the time of its completion, the New Asylum offered a compromise, providing room for 309 patients: 189 male and 160 female.[18]

The New Asylum was constructed in four building campaigns between 1857 and 1885. Charleston architect George E. Walker directed the first campaign from 1857 to 1858, building a small part of the south wing to relieve overcrowding of white male wards. During the Civil War construction on the New Asylum was suspended, and land located southeast of the unfinished Kirkbride building was established as a prison site for Union officers. The site, named Camp Asylum, existed for only two months during the war, and the imprisoned officers had limited access to built shelter with just the Mills Building and the incomplete south wing of the New Asylum standing in that part of the campus at the time.[19] Work on the New Asylum resumed in 1870, and the south wing was completed in 1876. The entire north wing was built during a third building phase from 1879 to 1882. The final building campaign, under the direction of well-known architect Samuel Sloan, a colleague of Kirkbride, took place from 1883 to 1885, when construction of the central-main section connecting the north and south wings concluded the building process.[20]

At the war’s end, a new generation of traumatized veterans and families began pouring into asylums across the country, bearing symptoms of mental and emotional stress commonly recognized today as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This influx of primarily young men coincided with the post-war upsurge of industry. Labor in factories, warehouses, and on railroads entailed long hours, low wages, grim work environments, and dangerous, strenuous working conditions, all of which placed additional stress on individuals and families. Industrial jobs sapped time, energy, and freedom, which inhibited the ability of family members and neighbors to care for those who were mentally or physically dependent upon them. Men, women, and children who heretofore had been cared for in the home were increasingly sent to state institutions.[21]

By the late 1860s, asylums throughout the United States became overcrowded as patient populations reached unprecedented numbers. In 1866, AMSAII convened and voted to increase the limit of beds from 250—the standard Kirkbride number—to 600, a number greater than the New Asylum at the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum could house.[22] Overcrowding caused much debate over the care and housing of patients, especially for state institutions with limited space and funding. As more patients were proving to be “chronic” cases, or incurable, some physicians advocated for the separation of the “curables” from the “incurables.”[23] Most superintendents in AMSAII objected to the rising concept of segregate architecture, also known as the cottage plan, in which smaller, independent buildings replaced the construction of additional wings to the monolithic Kirkbride plan. They felt that separate units created a division between patients receiving curative treatment from patients in custodial care. However, freestanding houses or cottages avoided population constraints, and they also allowed older structures or buildings previously external to the institution to be converted to asylum use. Thus, the cottage system was more easily and less expensively expandable.[24] In the face of this logic, the AMSAII at its conference “Charities and Correction” in 1869 established that a combination of the cottage plan with the linear plan was “desirable at present.”[25] Such a plan was conceded as not only practically feasible, but economical and efficient.

Also at this time, the medical field was becoming more professionalized and specialized, and by the 1870s, neurologists and physicians began increasingly to criticize the Kirkbride plan. These doctors disparaged the concept of moral treatment, arguing that insanity was neurologically based and more a matter of science and medicinal treatment than aesthetic and natural surroundings.[26] They supported the incorporation of segregate and non-purpose-built buildings to house and treat patients in a smaller, community-like setting.

Accordingly, new construction at the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum consisted of separate, smaller ward buildings rather than extensions to the New Asylum after its completion in 1885. Campuses throughout the United States that already included Kirkbride buildings similarly began to add smaller, segregate buildings to accommodate the rising cottage plan trend. Segregate buildings functioned in various capacities as dining halls, wards, staff housing, or community centers. The standard practice by this time was to house the most deranged or violent patients in the outermost buildings. With the emergence of segregate buildings, these patients moved out of the central Kirkbride building and into pavilions set farther from the central-main.

In South Carolina, segregate buildings were also constructed to separate African-American patients from white patients.[27] In the 1860s, the asylum administration had built temporary wooden structures located on the south area of the campus to house African-American male patients. Dilapidation, fire hazards, and overcrowding eventually prompted the construction of the Parker Building in 1898, intended specifically as a ward for African-American men and built in part by African-American patients and prisoners from the South Carolina State Penitentiary. However, the completed building did not resolve the issue of overcrowding, and related conditions of squalor led to a high mortality rate among African-American patients. In response to this problem, Superintendent Dr. James Babcock called for the construction of the Parker Annex in 1910. At the same time, the hospital began to develop plans to establish an entirely new and separate campus for African-American patients outside of Columbia. State Park, as the campus was called, received its first occupants in 1913 when the first permanent ward was completed.[28] In 1925, the hospital administration began transferring African-American male patients out of the Parker buildings and into State Park.[29] In 1937, the last female African-American patients were transferred out of the Mills Building to State Park, and Mills became a white nurses’ residence. Until the Parker Building was demolished in 1981, both Parker and Parker Annex at the Columbia campus housed and provided various rehabilitative services for white male patients.[30]

Overcrowding of state asylums escalated across the nation after a series of State Care Acts passed in 1890. The State Care Act centralized financial responsibility for the poor and mentally ill to the states so that almshouses and other local institutions that had previously cared for the elderly and indigent now took advantage of the new law to relieve their own financial strain. The consequence was the transfer of hundreds of physically or economically compromised patients to the already crowded state institutions.[31] The medical community noted the worsening problems created by the state-wide influx of patients, and reproached superintendents with virulence. Scientists and doctors criticized superintendents for their self-isolation from medicine, their disinterest in scientific research, inadequate medical records, and lackluster educational outreach.[32] Partly in response to these attacks, the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum changed its name to the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane in 1896, with the purpose of projecting a more neutral and less pejorative image of itself to the public. In 1919, the hospital dropped “for the Insane” from its name with the same intent as in 1896, becoming simply the South Carolina State Hospital.

By the end of the first half of the twentieth century, state mental hospitals had earned a grim reputation as “bleak and hopeless places,” and were widely regarded as last resort care, functioning almost exclusively as custodial rather than curative institutions.[33] Like mental hospitals across the country, the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane experienced overcrowding and its highest mortality rate during the first few decades of the twentieth century. Most deaths were caused by tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and pellagra, conditions heightened by the problem of overcrowding.[34] Preempted by complaints made by current and former patients, and at the urging of the Board of Regents and the Superintendent, the South Carolina Legislature passed a resolution that provided for a congressional committee to investigate the institution in 1909. The chairman of the State Board of Health inspected the hospital’s sanitation, while an architect and engineer examined the buildings and equipment.[35] The committee’s report outlined the many problems the hospital faced: administrative rules were not enforced; appropriations were wasted; the superintendent did not impose discipline; record-keeping was inadequate; no physical examination was given when patients entered; patients with infectious diseases mingled in wards with others; bathing and dining facilities were insufficient and unsanitary; restraint was used to excess by attendants; and fire protection was faulty, amongst many other problems.[36]

Most of the facilities built by the State Hospital in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were determined to be unsanitary, unsafe, overcrowded, and in a dilapidated state, such as Babcock and the Parker Building. As a result of the 1909 investigation, a State Hospital Commission was appointed and authorized to make plans to develop the campus, purchasing land and erecting buildings as necessary to offset the crowded and unsanitary conditions at the hospital. The Bakery, constructed in 1900, and other food service buildings were no longer able to produce sufficient supplies to feed all of the patients. To alleviate this problem, an ice factory, a larger kitchen, and attached male and female dining rooms were built at the back of Babcock in 1916. The Regents’ Report also pointed out the need for more staff housing. Staff at the State Hospital had for years resided in the Babcock Building and other wards in keeping with the national model where physicians and administrators lived off campus and nurses and attendants shared dormitory living space with the patients. In response to the Regents’ Report, Dix Cottage—initially constructed for white female patients—was converted into housing for nursing staff in 1915. South Carolina architect George E. Lafaye renovated various other residences on the campus for use as staff housing in 1919, and over the next two decades, the row of bungalows on Dix Drive were constructed as additional residence space for medical staff.[37]

Prompted by continuing reports of unsatisfactory conditions, Governor of South Carolina Richard I. Manning appealed to the National Committee for Mental Hygiene to study the State Hospital in 1915, just six years after the last study was conducted. One of the proposals included in the study was to remove all the “negro insane,” and tuberculosis and pellagrous patients to State Park in order to provide adequate accommodations for white patients at the Columbia unit.[38] The last African Americans relocated to State Park in 1937, but pellagrous patients remained at the Bull Street campus, as did tuberculosis patients who were housed in the LaBorde Building, built specifically for tubercular patients in 1929.

During the period from 1916 to 1929, the hospital experienced an increase in population of sixty percent, from 2,886 patients to 4,598 patients.[39] Because of the pervasive problem of overcrowding, the Columbia campus was under construction for much of the next decade, with the LaBorde (1929), Trezevant (1932), Thompson (1936), and Williams (1937) buildings all built as patient wards. These buildings departed from the philosophy of curative architecture or specific, purpose-built structures which defined buildings such as the Mills and Babcock buildings, or the Laundry Building (1884), the Bakery (1900), and the Mattress Factory (1921), the latter three constructed with specific and restorative patient occupation in mind. The new ward buildings were instead much more generically built. In fact, many of these 1920s and 1930s buildings would at some point undergo a major alteration in function; for instance, Trezevant changed from an elderly female ward into a pharmacy center in the 1980s.[40]

In response to another prevalent criticism of state asylums—that they were not engaging sufficiently with modern medicine and science—South Carolina’s General Assembly approved the construction of a research laboratory building in 1938-39. Named Ensor a couple of years later in honor of the State Hospital’s second superintendent, Dr. Joshua Ensor (1870-77), the building housed microscopic labs, animal holding and operation rooms, a stenographic recording room, an autopsy room, a morgue, and the parasitology department.[41] The classically-styled research building embodied the State Hospital’s effort to present itself to the public and to the medical professions as scientifically and medically legitimate.

In the mid-1950s, the discovery of phenothiazines, or “miracle drugs,” that controlled many severe symptoms of mental illnesses allowed some previously confined patients to return to their own communities, and made it possible to “unlock” some patient wards at the State Hospital. Not all patients enjoyed new freedom, however. In 1953, four new maximum security wards were built to house patients who were at risk of harming themselves or others, defendants under evaluation for trial competency, and individuals committed indefinitely to the hospital because they were considered not competent to stand trial. These three categories of patients had previously resided in the notoriously overcrowded and unsafe Taylor (built c. 1900), Talley (1904), and Thompson (1936) buildings, whose poor conditions had been condemned both by private and government inspection committees, and were considered a disgrace for the State Hospital, and sadly emblematic of most state facilities for the mentally ill. Patients living in the new wards—Allan and Saunders for women, Cooper and Preston for men—were far removed from the centrally located Mills and Babcock buildings, and confined to their ward grounds. The new maximum detention buildings were considered state-of-the art, featuring treatment rooms, indoor recreation and occupational therapy rooms, and enclosed courtyards for exercise.[42]

The 1950s and 1960s also saw the discontinuation of antiquated practices and devices such as lobotomies, insulin shock, hydrotherapy, and the use of hand mittens, padded helmets, and strait jackets.[43] Hospitals turned to more progressive and holistic means of treatment that sought to prepare patients for full recovery and a return to their home communities. Recreational and occupational therapy helped immerse recovering patients in vocational and educational activities such as reading, music, gardening, and physical activity. Embracing this form of treatment and attempting to counter its widely perceived identity as purely custodial care, the State Hospital opened the Benet Auditorium and the Horger Library in 1956. The superintendent at the time, Dr. William S. Hall, lauded the new buildings as representative of “the progress the State of South Carolina is making in the field of mental health and . . . the hospital’s effort to provide a well-rounded treatment program for its mentally ill citizens.”[44] The new library and auditorium’s modern design—a marked contrast to most of the other buildings on the campus—was a purposeful effort to combat the negative, barred-window kind of imagery associated with mental health architecture.   With minimalist ornamentation, the buildings not only avoided the imposing quality of grander or more classically-styled buildings like Mills and Babcock, or the fortress-like North Building (a female ward built 1910), but also were simply cheaper.[45] The Benet Auditorium contained a music room, woodwork shop, ceramic shop, pressroom for publication of the patient-run newsletter Palmetto Variety, and spaces for patient social gatherings.[46] The Horger Library functioned much as any community library would, allowing patients to browse its collections and check out books. Though the campus had provided space for both a library and an auditorium prior to the construction of Horger and Benet, the new buildings were purpose-built, and offered much larger and thoughtfully designed spaces for these therapeutic activities.[47]

Another gesture towards breaking the State Hospital’s institutional mold of the past was the dismantling of the historic wall that encircled the campus. In 1962, staff and patients participated in a ceremonial lowering of the first bricks of the Bull Street campus’s twelve-foot high nineteenth-century brick wall. The event was widely publicized in the State Hospital’s public relations materials as the removal of a symbolic and literal barrier between the community and the Hospital.[48] The bricks from the disassembled wall—handmade in 1827—were re-used in the construction of the new Chapel of Hope, completed in February of 1965. No structure devoted to religious worship had ever existed at the State Hospital; patients worshipped initially in the Mills building, then in the wooden buildings which had housed African-American patients, later in Babcock, and finally in the Benet Auditorium in 1956 before the construction of the Chapel. Though built in a traditional Colonial Revival style, the new worship space was available for Catholic and Jewish services as well.[49] In addition to the inspirational sentiment espoused by its use of the historic wall brick, the Chapel’s multidenominational nature was a further testament to a new age of openness and deinstitutionalization at the Bull Street campus.

Deinstitutionalization was the movement to transfer mental health treatment from centralized state hospitals to community centers, and spanned the years 1955 to 1982. The Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963 formally established the process by providing federal funds for community mental health centers and programs. In the 1960s and 1970s, the State Hospital moved forward with an agenda of decentralizing mental health services throughout the state, and established the State Department of Mental Health as an independent agency of the South Carolina state government in 1964. Superintendent Dr. William S. Hall was named the first state commissioner of mental health, and oversaw the development of a system with a comprehensive approach to mental health that combined medical care and treatment by expanding community services, consultation, mental health education, professional training, and research.[50] Under Dr. Hall’s tenure from 1964 to 1985, the State Hospital underwent a significant transformation from having an insular institutional approach to a focus on community healthcare, and the mental healthcare system expanded to provide service at ten major facilities and seventeen community centers with more than five thousand employees.

Although mental healthcare was undergoing a national transformation, the Columbia campus of the State Hospital did experience growth during deinstitutionalization.

William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute, the receiving and intensive treatment center for patients under sixty-five years of age and the new teaching hospital for training mental health staff, admitted its first patient in September 1966. Similar to the Horger and Benet buildings, the Psychiatric Institute demonstrated the hospital’s desire to be seen as an open and progressive campus. Dr. Hall likened the institute to a modern motel with plenty of sunlight and pleasant surroundings, and Governor Russell exclaimed after a tour of the new facility that “architecture has become the handmaid of mental health.”[51]

Feeling pressure from both the government and the local community, as evinced by an exposé published in The State in October 1976 detailing patient abuses at the State Hospital, the state’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) undertook an extensive program of renovations and demolitions across the campus.[52] In 1968, the DMH recorded the demolition of the “last wooden frame building at the State Hospital used for patient care.”[53] However, renovation was expensive, and large, old buildings such as the North and Talley Buildings—both patient wards—were instead demolished in the 1970s, as patients were moved into the developing community health centers throughout the state. The Parker Building and the Thompson Building followed suit in the 1980s. Babcock closed in the early 1980s, reopened briefly to house patients in 1983, and finally closed permanently in 1987.[54]

The DMH rehabilitated some of the other Bull Street buildings. Trezevant, for example, was altered to be a pharmacy in 1987, and Cooper was adapted from a patient ward into the forensic program building. DMH maintained a steady effort to retain accreditation, and Physical Plant Services worked to keep the landscape of the campus attractive and welcoming. Throughout the 1990s, the buildings at the State Hospital were continually updated and rehabilitated for new, non-residential uses—Parker Annex became an HVAC workshop, Ensor housed Volunteer Services, and the buildings along Mills Drive took on uses as locksmith and storage spaces.[55] By 1997, the maximum detention buildings had all been vacated.[56] Meanwhile, successful programs for patients at community locations external to the State Hospital that were established during deinstitutionalization provided residences, medication monitoring, psychiatric and medical care, social and physical activities, and employment assistance.

By the late 1990s, entire floors, wards, and cottages on the Columbia campus had closed or were being used for administrative offices. Most buildings were not removed, but fell into disrepair from neglect and disuse. An exception was the Mills Building, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and has housed the Department of Health and Environmental Control since 1987. In 1996, patients from the Crafts-Farrow State Hospital, formerly State Park and later a geriatric facility, moved to the State Hospital campus on Bull Street. The campus had evolved almost full circle from its circumstance in the 1920s and 1930s of desperately needing new ward space and adequate funds for new construction, to the dilemma of having too many buildings for its vastly diminished patient population by the 1970s, and struggling to maintain a multitude of old, vacant, and decrepit structures.

In the twenty-first century, care for the mentally ill has de-centralized into further divisions: nursing homes, alcohol and drug addiction centers, sex offender treatment programs, and the like. South Carolina boasts the existence of numerous of these specialized types of institutions, and reflective of a national trend, the single state-run hospital once devoted to the comprehensive care of all the state’s mentally ill is effectively obsolete. In 2007, the South Carolina State Supreme Court issued a judgment stating the former State Hospital is subject to a charitable trust, and any proceeds made from the sale of the property must go to the Department of Mental Health “in trust for the care of the treatment of the mentally ill.”[57] Less than three years later, Hughes Development Corporation of Greenville, SC purchased the Bull Street campus of the old State Hospital, signing a contract that establishes a seven-year payment plan of $15 million. The City of Columbia and Hughes signed a Development Agreement in July of 2013, sanctioning the re-zoning of the property for mixed-use purposes to include retail, residential, and commercial sites.  The Development Agreement also establishes that the City will provide funds for “substantial infrastructure improvements” during the development of the property, such as installing electrical or water lines.[58] Most recently, the City has authorized the development of a minor league baseball stadium on the site. The future of the Bull Street site remains a matter of ambiguity and contention in the Columbia community.




Archival Sources:


Box 1, Series 190002, Mental Health Commission Annual Reports of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health 1838-1903, South Carolina Department of Archive and History, Columbia, SC.

Container 2, Series 190011, Permanent Improvement File, 1949-1981, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC.

Container 6, Series 190074, State Dept. of Mental Health. Office of Public Affairs. Newsletters (South Carolina State Hospital newsletter, palmetto variety, variety, report, digest, images, weekly bulletin, and focus) 1951-1991, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC.

Folder 4, Series 190080, Governor Richard I. Manning’s special message on the State Hospital for the Insane to the General Assembly and a 1915 report to the Governor, 1915-1916, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC.

Series 190081, Agency Histories and Fact Sheets, 1930-1998. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC.



Secondary Sources:


Aviram, Uri. “Facilitating Deinstitutionalization: A Comparative Analysis” International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 27:23. 1981.

Byrd, Michael. White Poor and Poor Relief in Charles Town, 1725-1775: A Prosopography, PhD diss., Columbia: University of South Carolina, 2005.

De Young, Mary. Madness: An American History of Mental Illness and Its Treatment. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2010.

Goldman, Howard H. and Gerald Grob, “Defining ‘Mental Illness’ in Mental Health Policy,” Health Affairs 25:3 (May 2006), 737-740. Accessed March 2014.

Johnson, Leila Glover. A History of the South Carolina State Hospital. MA Thesis, Chicago: University of Chicago, 1930.

Magill, John H., South Carolina Department of Mental Health, “Public Mental Health in South Carolina,” Accessed March 2014.

McCandless, Peter. Moonlight, Magnolias, and Madness: Insanity in South Carolina from the Colonial Period to the Progressive Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

Ozarin, Lucy. “19th Century Psychiatric Debates: European Influences on American Psychiatry” Diseases of the Mind, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. Accessed March 2014.

South Carolina Department of Mental Health, “History of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health,” Accessed March 2014.

Yanni, Carla. The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums in the United States. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007.

Ziff, Katherine K. Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2012.


Individual Building Narratives (from


Bertagnolli, Clara. “Babcock Narrative,” 2014.

Campbell, Kimberly. “The Death of Bull Street’s Buildings,” 2014.

Fite, Chris. “Maximum Security Wards,” 2014.

Garnett, Diana. “Trezevant: A Building Handsome, Hopeful, and Healing,” 2014.

Gray, Stephanie. “The LaBorde Building: Evolution of a 20th Century Patient Ward,” 2014.

Halberg, Kayla. “An Asylum, “Old Building,” and Historic Landmark: The South Carolina State Hospital Mills Building, 1821-2014,” 2014.

Hammond, Lara. “The Ensor Building,” 2014.

Lane, Lane. “Chapel of Hope,” 2014.

Mojkowski, Lauren. “Purpose-Built for Progress: The Benet Auditorium and Horger Library,”

Moore, Sarah. “Parker/Parker Annex Narrative,” 2014.

Olguin, Robert. “Kitchen and Dining Halls,” 2014.

Simmons, Kathryn. “More than Just a Laundry and a Bakery,” 2014.

Southern, Meg. “Dix Cottages Narrative,” 2014.

Whitlark, Hannah. “Food Services Building,” 2014.


[1] For more information on the Poor House in Charleston see Michael Byrd, “White Poor and Poor Relief in Charles Town, 1725-1775: A Prosopography”(PhD diss, University of South Carolina, 2005).

[2] Peter McCandless, Moonlight, Magnolias, and Madness: Insanity in South Carolina from the Colonial Period to the Progressive Era, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996): 16-23.

[3] Carla Yanni, The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums in the United States, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), 24.

[4] Yanni, Architecture of Madness, 8.

[5] McCandless, Moonlight, Magnolias, and Madness, 41.

[6]South Carolina Legislature Statues at Large, December 1821, reprint, Container 2, Series 190011, Permanent Improvement File, 1949-1981, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC; McCandless, Moonlight, Magnolias, and Madness, 45.

[7] South Carolina Legislature Statues at Large, December 1821.

[8] McCandless, Moonlight, Magnolias, and Madness, 50-51.

[9] Yanni, Architecture of Madness, 33-34.

[10] McCandless, Moonlight, Magnolias, and Madness, 59.

[11] South Carolina Lunatic Asylum Board of the Regents, “Report of the Regents of the Lunatic Asylum to the Legislature of South Carolina: 1842,” Box 1, Series 190002, Mental Health Commission Annual Reports of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health 1838-1903, South Carolina Department of Archive and History, Columbia, SC.

[12] South Carolina Lunatic Asylum Board of Regents, “Report of the Regents of the Lunatic Asylum to the Legislature of South Carolina: November, 1848.”

[13] “Report of the Regents of the Lunatic Asylum to the Legislature of South Carolina: November, 1851,” Box 1, Series 190002, Mental Health Commission Annual Reports of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health 1838-1903.

[14] Yanni, Architecture of Madness, 38.

[15] Katharine Ziff, Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape, (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2012): 8-9.

[16] Yanni, Architecture of Madness, 60.

[17] Clara Bertagnolli, “Babcock Narrative,” 1.

[18] Bertagnolli, “Babcock Narrative,” 2.

[19] Sarah Moore, “Parker/Parker Annex Narrative,” 3.

[20] Bertagnolli, “Babcock Narrative,” 2-3.

[21] Ziff, Asylum on a Hill, 5-7.

[22] Yanni, Architecture of Madness, 78.

[23]Lucy Ozarin. “19th Century Psychiatric Debates: European Influences on American Psychiatry.” Diseases of the Mind, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, March 2014.

[24] Yanni, Architecture of Madness, 104

[25] Yanni, Architecture of Madness, 91

[26] Yanni, Architecture of Madness, 113

[27] Moore, “Parker/Parker-Annex Narrative,” 2-3.

[28]Leila Glover Johnson, “A History of the South Carolina State Hospital” (Master’s thesis, University of Chicago: 1930), 130-1.

[29] Johnson, “A History of the South Carolina State Hospital,” 130.

[30] Moore, “Parker/Parker Annex Narrative,” 3-4, 8.

[31] Goldman, Howard H. and Gerald Grob, “Defining ‘Mental Illness’ in Mental Health Policy,” Health Affairs, May 2006.

[32] Ozarin, “Diseases of the Mind.”

[33] Mary De Young, “Asylums,” in Madness: An American History of Mental Illness and Its Treatment (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2010), 103.

[34] Johnson, “A History of the South Carolina State Hospital,” 115-6.

[35] Johnson, “A History of the South Carolina State Hospital,” 115-6.

[36] Report of Legislative Committee to Investigate the State Hospital for the Insane, South Carolina, Reports and Resolutions, 1910, Vol. 3, pp. 480-600, in Johnson, “A History of the South Carolina State Hospital,” 121-8.

[37] Meg Southern, “Dix Cottages Narrative,” 2-4.

[38] Report to Hon. Richard I. Manning Governor of South Carolina on the State Hospital for the Insane at Columbia, South Carolina with Recommendations by Arthur P. Herring, M.D. January 1915. Folder 4, Series 190080, Governor Richard I. Manning’s special message on the State Hospital for the Insane to the General Assembly and a 1915 report to the Governor, 1915-1916, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC.

[39] Johnson, ““A History of the South Carolina State Hospital,” 155.

[40] Diana Garnett, “Trezevant: A Building Handsome, Hopeful, and Healing,” 6.

[41] Lara Hammond, “The Ensor Building,” 1-5.

[42] Chris Fite, “Maximum Security Wards.”

[43] Craft, Susan, South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Changing Minds, Opening Doors: A South Carolina Perspective on Mental Health Care, Series 190081, Agency Histories and Fact Sheets, 1930-1998. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC.

[44] Wilbur McCartha, “Dedication of Buildings is Scheduled This Month,” January 1956, Series 190008 State Department of Mental Health Agency Record Scrapbooks, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, in Lauren Mojkowski, “Purpose-Built for Progress: The Benet Auditorium and Horger Library,” 1.

[45] Lauren Mojkowski, “Purpose-Built for Progress,” 2-3.

[46] Mojkowski, “Purpose-Built for Progress,” 4.

[47] Mojkowski, “Purpose-Built for Progress,” 4.

[48] Larry Lane, “Chapel of Hope,” 5-6.

[49] Lane, “Chapel of Hope,” 5-6.

[50] Craft, Changing Minds, Opening Doors, 13.

[51] “History of the Institute,” Palmetto Variety, Vol. 12, No. 2, February 1964. Container 6, Series 190074, State Dept. of Mental Health. Office of Public Affairs. Newsletters (South Carolina State Hospital newsletter, palmetto variety, variety, report, digest, images, weekly bulletin, and focus) 1951-1991, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC.

[52] “Hospital Has Tough Policy against Abuse, Dr. Hall Says,” The State, B-1, Columbia, South Carolina, October 3, 1976.

[53] Quoted in Kimberly Campbell, “The Death of Bull Street’s Buildings,” 4.

[54] Campbell, “The Death of Bull Street’s Buildings?,” 6.

[55] Campbell, “The Death of Bull Street’s Buildings?,” 6.

[56] Chris Fite, “Outline for a Narrative of the Maximum Security Ward Buildings, p. 2.

[57] “Public Mental Health in South Carolina,” SCDMH Power Point presentation, Nov. 01, 2013

[58] “Public Mental Health in South Carolina,” SCDMH Power Point presentation, Nov. 01, 2013