The South Carolina State Hospital was one of the first state-run mental asylums established in the United States, opening in 1828 on Bull Street in Columbia, South Carolina. The State Hospital serves as a model of larger, national trends in mental health care over the last 200 years. Its buildings in particular—Mills, Babcock, Ensor, the Horger Library and Benet Auditorium to name just a few—indeed reflect the evolving scientific and medical philosophies of curative versus custodial architecture, purpose-built versus non-purpose-built structures, decentralization and, finally, deinstitutionalization and the gradual abandonment of state hospitals for the mentally ill.

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