Quick Reference

This quick reference has two main uses. First, our class used it to write the narratives for our individual buildings and/or projects. Second, and more importantly, this reference is designed for you, so you can better understand some of the concepts and ideas we’ve been living during this class. The definitions that follow include terms on historic preservation, asylums and state mental hospitals nationally, and Bull Street specifically.

In compiling this reference, we consulted a number of sources. For terms on historic preservation, we used the definitions included in the 1966 Historic Preservation Act which lays out the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation. For basic terms, we looked at Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary online. For those terms about asylums, asylum medicine, or mental health care in general, we used two primary works. First, we consulted Carla Yanni’s The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums of the United States, particularly when looking for terms regarding asylum architecture. For more general asylum terms, we looked to Katherine Ziff’s Asylum on a Hill: History of a Healing Landscape. On occasion, we as a class decided that the definitions from these two works should be adapted to reflect some of the other literature we read and/or our research. Finally, many of the terms included are specific to Bull Street. For these definitions, we as a class consulted the archival materials from the Department of Mental Health available at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH).

In what follows, you’ll find the terms divided into three categories and then listed alphabetically. “Basic Asylum Terms” include those definitions regarding asylums and mental hospitals in general, Bull Street specifically, and historic preservation. In “Bull Street Buildings,” you’ll find a list of all the buildings we worked on as a class, as well as a few others (some of which no longer stand). In “Key People,” we have compiled a list of names that are connected to Bull Street throughout its history. After most definitions, you will see a phrase in parenthesis. These phrases explain where that particular definition came from, and their exact meanings are listed below. If there is not a phrase in parentheses, a student or students in the class wrote that definition from archival resources, and more information can be found in the curated collections.

(From Title) – These definitions are drawn verbatim from the listed source.

(Adapted from Title) – While much of this definition is drawn from the listed source, we decided to adapt what we found to better reflect the other works we have read as a class and our research on Bull Street specifically.

(From Class Discussion) – These definitions were decided on by the entire class.

(From Team Glossary) – These definitions were written based on the knowledge of Team Glossary, made up of Kim Campbell, Lauren Mojkowski, and Sarah Moore.


Basic Asylum Terms
  • Alteration – Alteration is any change to a building’s appearance interior or exterior. (From Team Glossary)
  • Architecture – Architecture is the art or science of designing and creating buildings.  This term can also refer to the style of a building. (Adapted from Merriam-Webster dictionary)
  • Asylum – Asylum was the term widely used in the nineteenth century to refer to places which housed the mentally ill. The term suggested “a refuge from the pressures of civilization,” and did not have negative associations until the end of the nineteenth century. (Adapted from Yanni, Appendix A)
  • Civilization – Civilization, which was the combined forces of industrialization, urbanization, and the quest for profit, was believed by nineteenth-century physicians to be a cause of insanity. (Adapted from Yanni, p. 3)
  • Class- Class refers to socio/economic status in a community. Often hospitals were physically divided based on economic and social class. (From Team Glossary)
  • Congregate system – The congregate system was a system of housing and treating the mentally ill under a single roof; the Kirkbride plan is an example of a style of congregate system. (Adapted from Yanni, p. 79)
  • Cottage plan – The cottage plan, also known as segregate plan “broke monolithic hospitals into smaller units and thus, it was claimed, created a freer and more sociable atmosphere.” Patient housing was located in a variety of smaller buildings with varying plans. (Adapted from Yanni, p. 79)
  • Curative care – Curative care is care for the mentally ill that aims not simply to treat symptoms but to cure mental illness altogether; also see “moral treatment.” (Adapted from Ziff, p.23)
  • Cure – During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many physicians believed certain types of mental illness could be cured, as opposed to just treated; the term may also refer to architecture. Also see “Kirkbride plan,” or “moral treatment.” (Adapted from Yanni, p. 15)
  • Custodial care – Custodial care is care for the mentally ill that aims to treat symptoms over a long period of time, rather than curing the mentally ill; mental hospitals became “custodians” for those who could not care for themselves. (Adapted from Ziff, p. 23)
  • Deinstitutionalization- Deinstitutionalization was the movement and policy that emerged in the post-war United States that called for patients to be moved out of state hospitals and institutions. During this time, treatment moved from these institutions to outpatient care. There was also a declassification of illnesses that were traditionally seen as needed to be institutionalized. (Adapted from Yanni, p. 147-148)
  • Domestic sphere – In the nineteenth century, the domestic sphere, traditionally the domain of females, was considered to be alternately both an environmental cause for insanity and a possible cure.  (Adapted from Yanni)
  • Environmental determinism  – Environmental determinism is the idea that the environment, including architecture, shapes behavior.  In the nineteenth century, it was believed that the environment could not only influence behavior, but could also cure a disease. (From Yanni, p.8)
  • Industrialization – Industrialization was the advancement in machinery that led to mass production of products and the increase in workforce. (From Team Glossary)
  • Insane – Insane is a historical term for mentally ill (see “mental illness”); for the purposes of “Digitizing Bull Street,” this term refers to any sort of mental illness between 1895 to 1920, when Bull Street’s official name was the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane. (From Team Glossary)
  • Insanity – see “Insane”
  • Institutionalization [of American life]- In the nineteenth century, in response to industrialization and urbanization, support for community institutions such as asylums rose in order to meet social needs and improve living conditions.  Aside from asylums, institutions such as hospitals, orphanages, universities, and penitentiaries also rose in number during this period. (From Team Glossary)
  • Kirkbride plan-The Kirkbride building plan for mental  hospitals in 19th century United States, also known as the linear plan, “consisted of a central building with flanking pavilions on both sides.” The design allowed for all of the patients to be taken care of inside this one building with the central portion of the building being used for offices and home of the superintendent. This type of hospital was typically built outside of urban areas. (Adapted from Yanni, p. 60)
  • Lunacy – see “Lunatic”
  • Lunatic – Lunatic is a historical term for mentally ill (see “mental illness”); for the purposes of “Digitizing Bull Street,” this term refers to any sort of mental illness between 1822-1895, when Bull Street’s official name was the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum. (From Team Glossary)
  • Mental illness – Mental illnesses refer to disorders generally characterized by dysregulation of mood, thought, and/or behavior, as recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV). This includes disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and psychotic disorders. (Adapted fromthe Center of Disease Control Website)
  • Mentally ill – see “mental illness”
  • Miasma-The term miasma is part of a theory known as the Miasmal Theory of Contagion. This refers to 19th century belief that “noxious exhalations from humans polluted the air and caused diseases.” As a result, ventilation was encouraged. (Adapted from Yanni, p. 34-35).
  • Moral management – Moral management was the act of using the moral treatment system; also the twentieth century term for this sort of treatment. (From Class Discussion)
  • Moral treatment  – Moral treatment was the plan of curing the mind and not the body through schedule, activities, structure, and lack of restraints. (From Class Discussion)
  • Normalization- Normalization was the belief that the hospital setting could help a patient return to the social norm. (From Team Glossary)
  • Occupational therapy- Occupational therapy was a form of treatment in which patients were encouraged to do chores such as gardening, sewing, cleaning, etc. (Adapted from Yanni, p.74-75).
  • Palmetto Variety- The Palmetto Variety was a newsletter published by the State Hospital from the 1950s until the early 1990s.  The newsletters, published monthly, feature information about the daily activities of the hospital.  This includes updates about new construction, but also information about different therapies in use, updates about individual wards and patients, and writing and artwork done by patients. (From Team Glossary)
  • Pellagra – Pellagra is a disease marked by dermatitis, gastrointestinal disorders, and mental disturbances and associated with a diet deficient in niacin. The disease was particularly prevalent at Bull Street during the early 20th century, and Superintendent James W. Babcock was instrumental in bringing together some of the world’s greatest medical minds to discuss the disease three separate times on the Bull Street Campus  (Adapted from Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Asylum Doctor: Dr. James Woods Babcock and the Red Plague of Pellagra by Charles Bryan, M.D.)
  • Preservation – Preservation is “the act or process of applying measures necessary to sustain the existing form, integrity, and materials of an historic property. Work, including preliminary measures to protect and stabilize the property, generally focuses upon the ongoing maintenance and repair of historic materials and features rather than extensive replacement and new construction. New exterior additions are not within the scope of this treatment; however, the limited and sensitive upgrading of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and other code-required work to make properties functional is appropriate within a preservation project.”  (From the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards)
  • Psychiatry – Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.  This term, and also “psychiatrist,” a physician who practices this branch of medicine, was first used in the U.S. in the middle of the nineteenth century. (Adapted from Yanni, Appendix A)
  • Purpose-built- This term refers to buildings which were built to be used for a specific purpose.  Many nineteenth century doctors believed only a purpose-built asylum building could cure mental illnesses. (From Team Glossary)
  • Race- As with different classes, people of different races were kept separate sections of buildings or in separate buildings. (From Team Glossary)
  • Reconstruction – Reconstruction is “the act or process of depicting, by means of new construction, the form, features, and detailing of a non-surviving site, landscape, building, structure, or object for the purpose of replicating its appearance at a specific period of time and in its historic location.”  (From the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards)
  • Rehabilitation – Rehabilitation is “the act or process of making possible a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations, and additions while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural, or architectural values.” (From the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards)
  • Repurposed- This term refers to buildings which are adapted for a use that is different from the use originally intended by the architect. (From Team Glossary)
  • Restoration – Restoration is “the act or process of accurately depicting the form, features, and character of a property as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of features from other periods in its history and reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period. The limited and sensitive upgrading of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and other code-required work to make properties functional is appropriate within a restoration project.” (From the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards)
  • Social control- Social control refers to maintaining the social norm, through institutionalization of those deemed to be outside of the norm. (From Team Glossary)
  • Superintendent – The superintendent was the chief officer of the asylum and/or state hospital. Originally a separate office from the chief medical officer of the institution, the superintendent became head of everyday affairs and medicine at the hospital after 1856. (From Team Glossary)
  • Urbanization-Urbanization is the movement of people from living in rural areas to more urban areas for job opportunities. This results in the growth of urban areas and was thought to be a cause of insanity. (Adapted from Yanni, p.3)
  • Ward – “In a mental hospital, a ward referred to a hallway plus the bedrooms on either side of it, a dining room, dayroom, and the attendant’s room.” (From Yanni, p. 125)


Bull Street Buildings
  • Babcock Building – The Babcock Building, originally known as the New Asylum Building and later called the Main Building and the Administration Building, was built for white patients as a solution to overcrowding in the Mills Building. The building was originally designed in the Kirkbride plan, with a central administrative section and two symmetrical connecting wings, one for male patients and one for female patients. Initial construction of the building happened in four phases. The first phase, from 1857 to 1858, included construction of a portion of the south wing, to alleviate the immediate problem of overcrowding of the male wards. Patients were moved in upon completion. The second phase, from 1870 to 1876, completed the south wing. The north wing, for white female patients, was constructed between 1880 and 1882, and the central administrative building was completed from 1883 to 1885, finally attaching the two wings.
  • Bakery – Built in 1900, the Bakery worked in conjunction with the kitchen for the preparation of baked goods. To implement another facet of moral treatment and to emphasize its importance, many of the individuals who worked here were patients of the hospital.
  • Benet Auditorium- The Benet Auditorium and Horger Library building was constructed on the Bull Street campus of the South Carolina State Hospital starting around 1954, and was dedicated in 1956. It was designed by local Columbia architectural firm Lafaye, Fair, and Lafaye, in the mid-century modern architectural style.  The building was part of an attempt to introduce a purpose-built home for certain patient services.  The Benet Auditorium was used for recreational activities for patients, as well as occupational therapy.  The building included classroom-like rooms for use in teaching life skills to patients.  The Horger Library provided books and meeting spaces for patients on the hospital campus, as well as for the staff of the hospital.
  • Canteen-The Columbia architectural firm Lafaye, Fair, and Lafaye constructed the Canteen in 1949. The building went into use on March 18 of that same year, serving both State Hospital patients and employees.
  • Chapel of Hope – The construction of the chapel began in 1963, and it opened its doors February 14, 1965.  Lafaye, Fair and Lafaye and Associates, a local Columbia architectural firm that had built several other buildings on the South Carolina State Hospital Campus, built the chapel. With the capability of seating more than 600 people, the chapel is built in a Georgian style building with a Greek revival portico. The Kempson Center, an extension on the northern side of the chapel, housed the Academy for Pastoral Education. The namesake of the center and Chief Chaplain, Rev. James Obert Kempson, was one of the many driving forces behind the chapel. The chapel incorporates bricks that were at one time part of a wall that surrounded the campus.
  • Congregate Dining Rooms and Kitchen – The project of building congregate dining rooms and a new central kitchen fell to George E. LaFaye beginning January, 1915. Located east of the Babcock Building and mirroring the segregation of Babcock’s wards, the women’s dining room lay north of the kitchen while the men’s dining room lay in the south. Connected to the central portion of Babcock, the central kitchen linked together each of the dining rooms through separate pathways. While a kitchen and mess hall existed previously, the Legislative Investigating Committee and the architect, George E. LaFaye, criticized the previous food system as inefficient and unsatisfactory, urging immediate renovation and construction. This, then, led to the construction and completion of both the dining halls and kitchen in 1916.
  • Maximum Detention Buildings – Built in 1953, the Maximum Detention Buildings were state-of-the-art facilities for the hospital’s high risk patients. Previously, these patients resided in unsecured wards in the Taylor, Talley, and Thompson buildings, which were outdated, overcrowded, and unsafe. The hospital had called for secure facilities since the 1890s, but funding problems and other obstacles stymied the project for half a century. All four buildings were named after prominent figures from Bull Street’s history: Allan, Saunders, Cooper, and Preston. They featured treatment rooms, occupational therapy rooms, and enclosed courtyards for exercise. The State Park campus had two maximum security buildings of the same design: Shand and Davis.
  • Dix Drive Cottages – The Dix Drive Cottages are bungalows constructed by Lafaye and Lafaye in the early twentieth century to serve as physicians’ housing, located along Dix Drive north of Mills Building and west of Babcock Building. Extant structures survive earlier generations of staff residences in the area, which included larger frame cottages constructed in the 1890s, small brick residences constructed in the 1910s and 1920s, and a 1953 group of six (6) bungalows constructed in 1953. Dix Drive is named after preeminent nineteenth-century social reformer Dorothea Dix, also commemorated in the earlier Dix Cottage that housed the hospital’s nursing school students.
  • Ensor- The Ensor Building was built in late 1938 to early 1939 on the SC State Hospital campus by local Columbia architectural firm Lafaye, Fair, and Lafaye in order to provide a research laboratory as well as a morgue to the site.  Located right next to the Williams Building, Ensor matches its red brick colonial revival architectural style.
  • Food Services – Built in 1954 to replace the original 1915 kitchen. The original kitchen had a capacity to feed up to 1,800 people. By 1954 the population was at 3,000. This new Food Service Building could now feed 10,000 people. With new technologies such as walk in freezers, huge meat ovens, bread baking facilities, and loading docks many other hospitals began to look to the Columbia, South Carolina Department of Mental Health Food Service Building for inspiration. In 1956 the buildings director received a National Award for food service installation and design in feeding institutes.
  • Horger Library – see “Benet Auditorium”
  • LaBorde – Designed by the Columbia architect firm Lafaye & Lafaye, the Laborde Building originally housed white male tuberculosis patients and was known as the Tuberculosis [T.B.] Pavilion, or Ward B-21.  Completed in 1929 by the Mechanics Contracting Company, LaBorde is a one-story brick building with a tin roof and concrete floors. In the 1940s, tuberculosis patients were moved out of LaBorde and it then became a white female ward.  In the 1950s, yet another group of patients moved in: regressed male patients (invalids) from the Parker Building, located adjacent to LaBorde.
  • Landscape- The study of the landscape of the Bull Street Campus is a challenging one due to the fact there was little information recorded about planning or maintaining plants on the campus. Gardening was often used as  part of the occupational therapy aspect of treatment for patients during the nineteenth century but there is little information to how this treatment was used at the South Carolina State Hospital. There is still an existing greenhouse  building on the campus.
  • Laundry – Built ca. 1888, the Laundry served as the primary facility for the washing and drying of each patient’s everyday clothing and linens. Like the Bakery, most of the individuals who worked here were patients of the hospital.
  • Mattress Factory – The Mattress Factory, located at the bottom of the hill not far from the Bakery, was built during the early  20th century as a tin structure. It burned down in 1920 and was rebuilt as a brick structure in 1921. Non-violent male patients worked here to create mattresses.
  • Mills Building- The Mills Building is the original South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, constructed between 1822 and 1827. Designed by architect Robert Mills, who was the South Carolina State Engineer from approximately 1820-1823, the Classical or Greek Revival style building functioned as the original asylum, serving as patient wards until 1937, when it became a residence for nurses. In 1988, the Mills Building became home to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, which continues to operate from the building.
  • Parker Annex- Built in 1910 on the South Carolina State Hospital campus, the Parker Annex was intended to relieve the overcrowding of  African American patients in the Parker Building. This building is two stories, constructed of brick, and is an example of Colonial Revival architecture. Currently, it still stands.
  • Parker- The Parker building was built in 1898 on the South Carolina. State Hospital Campus in order to house African American male patients. The building was three stories high, constructed of brick, and was an example of Victorian Romanesque architecture. This building was named after Dr. Parker who as superintendent in 1850’s began asking for money to construct a building for African American males. It was demolished in the 1980’s. It stood near the extant laundry.
  • Trezevant – Trezevant was constructed in 1931-32 and is located to the north of the main female wards of the Babcock Building.  A one-story brick ward designed with a capacity for fifty white, infirm female patients, Trezevant was initially named “Williams,” but later came to be called Ward 18 A when the current Williams Reception Building was completed in 1937. The name Trezevant was not given to the structure until the early 1950s, by which time the building was no longer occupied by patients but used to host activities and events.
  • Williams-The Williams Building was added to the South Carolina State Hospital campus in the 1930’s and was a part of what was known as the new campus. The building is an example of Roman Revival, with a temple front and portico. In the basement of this building there was a laboratory.


Key People
  • Allen, James M. – James M. Allen was the contractor for the architect George E. Walker. He worked on the southern four-story block that was built in 1870-1876.
  • Berg, Gustavus T.  – Gustavus T. Berg was the second architect of the Babcock building. He was contracted to be the architect for the north wing built in 1880-82. He was a native of Konnesburg, Germany.
  • Crafts, William  – Major William Crafts was a senator from Charleston County. He passed a law that authorized the construction of the lunatic asylum and school for the deaf and dumb. Later the school for the deaf and dumb was deferred because they did not want them linked.He died in 1826.
  • Davis, M.D., James B.  – James B. Davis, M.D. was the first physician of the asylum (elected in 1828) and a member of the original board of commissioners for erecting the asylum. He was appointed in 1821 to the General Assembly as a member to the commission to purchase the site of the soon to be Lunatic Asylum. He was also sent North to explore other methods of therapy and established institutions.
  • Dix, Dorothea  – (1802-1887) She was known as a national leader in promoting human care for the mentally ill. Dorothea Dix visited the S.C. state asylum in 1859, though she had come once before. (Adapted from Yanni, p. 52)
  • Ensor, M.D., Joshua Fulton  – Joshua Fulton Ensor was a superintendent of the Asylum starting in 1869. He resigned on December 31, 1877.
  • Farrow, Samuel  – (1760-1824) Samuel Farrow was a member of the House of representatives from Spartanburg County (1812-1816) as well as a lawyer. He is known as the “Father of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum.”
  • Griffin, Peter E.  – Peter E. Griffin was an asylum superintendent from 1878-1890.
  • Hall, M.D., William S.  – William S. Hall was a Superintendent for the South Carolina State Hospital and was the first State Commissioner of Mental Health in South Carolina from 1964-1985.  Hall came to the State Hospital after WWII and worked to relieve the problems at the hospital, including overcrowding.  As State Commissioner of Mental Health, Hall worked to improve community mental health care in the state, encouraging the deinstitutionalization of mental health care in South Carolina. (Adapted from the Department of Mental Health website and the South Carolina ETV information about William Hall.)
  • Johnson, R.W.  – R.W. Johnson was a contractor for the architect Samuel Sloan. He worked on the center portion of the Babcock Building.
  • Kempson, Chaplain James Obert  – Kempson spent approximately 30 years of service as the chief chaplain for the South Carolina State Hospital from 1933 to 1965. During his time with the State Hospital, Kempson developed a program designed to instruct pastoral education within a clinical setting, which would eventually become the Academy for Pastoral Education. Kempson was one key driving force behind the construction of a permanent chapel.
  • LaBorde, Ph.D, Maximillian  – (1804-1873) LaBorde was a president of the Board of Regents and served as historian and professor of belles-lettres, Greek and Astronomy, and acting president of the South Carolina College.
  • Lafaye, George E.  – George Lafaye designed the two one-story dining halls that are attached to the easternmost end of the center building. He completed these in 1916. He also renovated the patient wings.
  • Lieber, Dr. Francis  – Lieber was the chairman of the committee on the Board of Regents in 1847.
  • Manning III, Governor Richard Irvine  – Governor Manning was the 92nd governor of South Carolina who served from January 19, 1915 – January 21, 1919. Under his term South Carolina prohibited alcohol.
  • Mills, Robert  – (1781-1885) Robert Mills designed the Mills Building which was the original asylum structure on the campus. The building’s cornerstone was laid on December 21, 1821 and was completed on December 18, 1827. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, he was the first native architect and the first federal architect that served under seven different presidents.
  • Parker, M.D., John Waring  – Dr. Parker became the first superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum when he was appointed to the role in 1836 to 1869. Before this promotion, he was the head physician. He was recalled as an assistant physician in 1876, a position he held until 1882.
  • Sloan, Samuel  – Samuel Sloan designed and built the center portion of the Babcock Building, which connected the two wings and completed the complex in 1883-85.
  • Trezevant, M.D., Daniel – Daniel Trezevant was the Lunatic Asylum’s first physician, a position originally in charge of all medical matters, who was appointed in January 1835. He succeeded Dr. James Davis. He was a member of the Board of Regents. He served as first physician until 1856.
  • Walker, George E.  –   George E. Walker was the first architect for the Babcock Building. He would come to define the whole complex but was only under contract for the south wing. Work began on the south wing in 1857-1858.
  • Waring, Clark  – Clark Waring was the contractor for the architect George E. Walker. He worked on the three northernmost blocks of the south wing built in 1857-1858.
Works Cited

“The Bull Street Symposium: Erin Holmes” youtube video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vQqittv9kg. “Dr. Williams S. Hall,” South Carolina ETV, accessed November 5, 2014.   http://scetv.org/index.php/sc_hall_of_fame/show/dr._williams_s.hall/.

“History of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health-William S. Hall.” South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Accessed November 5, 2014. http://state.sc.us/dmh/history.htm

“Mental Illness” Center for Disease Control. Accessed November 5, 2014.  http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics/mental-illness.htm.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary Online. http://merriam-webster.com

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

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