St Agnes Sanitarium

12/28/2014 46 images Share: , , Album RSS
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The St Agnes Tuberculosis Hospital was opened on September 13, 1912 to handle the problem of infectious diseases that filled major cities of that time. Initially the commission to build the hospital planned to spend $200,000 to build a facility for 75 patients. They spent an additional $50,000 that gave them a building to accommodate 150 patients and supporting infrastructure that would allow expansion to 250. After a time a children's unit was built across the road from the main hospital.

This hospital was touted as the first hospital designed specifically to enable use of the Rollier sun method of treating tuberculosis patients. This method required that patients be rolled onto the balconies for sun treatment and fresh air.

The hospital brochure described, in slightly odd phraseology, some of the features that made it a state-of-the-art facility. They included: "Enormous veranda space (which will allow patients to shift positions), open verandas for sun-baths. The new verandas will be 12 feet wide with an 18 feet over-hang or cover, so patient may sleep at outer edge and have clear view of the sky and be entirely in the open air. If it rains or snows or wind is too strong the bed can simply be pushed back. Instead of windows in the patients' rooms there will be French doors, so that every bed can be pushed out on the veranda, and patient can sleep in the open air."

Eventually treatment with drugs made long hospitalizations unnecessary. On May 17, 1960 the hospital transferred the remaining TB patients to other hospitals in preparation for closing St. Agnes as a TB hospital. After 1960 the hospital was in full scale conversion to be recycled for the education of the mentally handicapped. The facility remained open for 30 more years. By 1995, changes in the education of mentally handicapped led to the closure of the hospital for good.

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