Colorado State Hospital


     The Colorado State Mental Hospital was the only institution in Colorado dedicated to the care of the mentally ill in Colorado until 1962. It first opened in the 1880's as the Woodcroft Sanatorium and was capable of holding just 200 people. During its period of prominence during the 40's and 50's the hospital was capable of holding over 4,000 patients though conditions were often crowded and poor. Overcrowding was a constant issue at the asylum and dictated what and where the hospital needed to focus its money. The hospital frequently constructed new buildings on their vast grounds to better support its constantly growing population. This trend continued until 1962, when Decentralization led to patients returning to their home communities instead of seeking care at a centralized state facility. Our project follows these themes as well as the superintendents that guided the hospital through the many changes it went through during its existence. 

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