Spring Grove Hospital Center - Cantonsville, Maryland
Located in Catonsville, Maryland, Spring Grove Hospital Center was founded in 1797, and is the nation’s second-oldest psychiatric hospital. It was originally known as The Baltimore Hospital, then The Maryland Hospital, followed by The Maryland Hospital for the Insane, and The Spring Grove Hospital Center. Spring Grove was originally built to care for people who had Yellow Fever away from the city of Baltimore. In 1840, Spring Grove began to only care for the mentally ill.
The current site was purchased in 1852 because the hospital’s needs were outgrowing the original buildings. Dr. Richard Sprigg Steuart, the President of the Board, got authorization and funding from the Maryland General Assembly for the new buildings after social reformer Dorothea Dix gave an impassioned speech to the assembly. The cost of the new site was $14,000 or $531,447 today. Construction of the new main building began in 1853, but work stopped in 1862 because of the Civil War and was not completed until 1872. However, enough of the north wing was completed to be used as a military hospital during the war.
On October 7, 1872, the first patients were transferred from the hospital’s original location in Baltimore to the new facility. The main building was designed under the Kirkbride plan, which called for a center admin section with two wings, one for male and one for female patients, on each side. It cost $760,000 to build or $18 million when adjusted for inflation. The original capacity of the Kirkbride building was 325 patients, and it was used for almost 100 years. In 1964, it was demolished and replaced with more modern buildings.
The Spring Grove Hospital Center currently operates 375 beds and averages 800 admissions and discharges per year. In May 2022, the State of Maryland sold the hospital campus to the University of Maryland for $1. The Maryland Department of Health, which operates the hospital, plans to close it eventually, but not for at least a decade.
Matt Lambros MD Catonsville Jun 17, 2022 Abandoned Places Architecture History
Location: Catonsville, MD
Matt Lambros Jun 17, 2022
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