Colorado State Hospital

Campus Constructions Through the 1950's

     The Pueblo Hospital was constantly forced to address the issue of overcrowding as their population grew. Most frequently this was done through constructing new buildings, which continued steadily until the 1960's. One of the first major additions to the Asylum began construction in 1882. An article from the Colorado Golden Transcript on May 10th, 1882 reported that a new building was nearing completion, and had cost about $20,000 up to this point and estimated that another $10,000. The author went on to point out the need for a the new construction due to the Asylums overcrowding. He wrote, "Sheriff Johnson informs us that he has two violently insane people who have for the last six months been confined in the Jefferson county jail, and that the whole time he has been unable to gain admittance for them to the asylum."   

     The main wing of the asylum first began holding patients on November 20th, 1883, with the east wing designated for male patients, and the west for female. Each wing has 3 separate wards that are capable of caring for 35 patients each. When the hospital was first occupied however, it only held 49 patients. By 1885, that number had grown to 97 which was still significantly below the maximum capacity of the main building, which was 210 individuals. 

     The problem of overpopulation would once again rear its head in the late 1880's. Throughout 1888, there were once again reports from across the state that claimed that the asylum was unable to take on new patients. One such report came from the Leadville Daily Chronicle on December 15th, 1888 where it was reported that DR. P. R. Thombs had sent word to the sheriff that he would be unable to admit a man who was recently declared insane by a local court. 1889, the steps were taken to undertake new additions throughout the campus. The total request for funds was $93, 436.27 and included projects like a new irrigation ditch, furniture, and an addition to the male wing of the main building to combat overcrowding. 


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