What happened to the Philadelphia State Hospital in Byberry during 1960s-1980s?

I am confused on that specific time period because different old newspapers say different things about the mental hospital.. Please be specific.

Update:

I am confused on that specific time period because different old newspapers say different things about the mental hospital.. Please be specific.

EDIT: Sorry to confuse you people :P Lemme make it clear. In 1938 the state took over the hospital because it was not managed properly by the city. Since then (I believe form 1940s-1953), they started expanding the hospital to accommodate more patients but, the situation did not get any better. What happened after that? Did teh conditions get better during the 1960s and 1970s? If not, what have administrations been doing? What caused it to shut down?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry was a psychiatric hospital located in Northeast Philadelphia.

    It was established in 1907 as the Byberry Mental Hospital and originally followed the theory of physician Benjamin Rush that mental illness was a disease and could be cured with proper treatment, but that the mentally diseased should be kept away from normal people until they were actually cured. It was home to people ranging from the mentally challenged to the criminally insane. The primary buildings were constructed between 1910 and the mid-1920s, and the newer buildings were constructed between 1940 and 1953. The facility included over fifty buildings such as male and female dormitories, an infirmary, kitchens, laundry, administration, a chapel and a morgue. The hospital's population grew rapidly, quickly exceeding its capacity, and living and treatment conditions were extremely poor.

    The hospital was turned over to the state in 1936 and was renamed the Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry. However, the state possession changed nothing, and further investigations publicized similar findings. During the 1960s the hospital began a continuous downsizing that would end with its closure. During the mid-1980s, the hospital came under scrutiny when it was learned that violent criminals were being kept on the hospital's Forensic Ward (N8-2A). In 1985, the hospital failed a state inspection, and was accused of misleading the inspection team about certain issues, with overcrowding being the top problem. Reports of patient abuse were still rampant through the 1980s. One patient had reported that one of his teeth was pulled without Novocaine. Another famous story of patient abuse was that of William Kirsch in 1987, who was shackled to a bed for 14 months. Another state inspection team was sent to evaluate the hospital in early 1987. By the summer of 1987, five of the Philadelphia State Hospital's top officials were promptly fired after the Byberry facility once again failed the state inspection.

    On December 7, 1987, a press conference was held to announce the closure of the Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry. The teams most recently performing investigations described the conditions as "atrocious" and "irreversible." Though originally supposed to close the following year, patient issues delayed the process. Mostly the fact that two released patients were found dead in the Delaware river in two successive days after their release. The hospital officially closed in June of 1990, with the remaining patients and staff having been transferred to Norristown State Hospital or local community centers.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    By the 1960s, Philadelphia State Hospital consisted of over 50 buildings, 7,000 patients and 800 staff members, along with a deep financial annual cost. In the 1970s, the large staff buildings began to empty out as the workers would much rather commute than live on the grounds. De-institutionalization soon took its hold on this hospital, and most of it was evacuated throughout the 1980s. Horrid living conditions were publicized after a thorough investigation once again, including inadequate treatment, mismanagement, and patient abuse such as sexual exploitation and starvation. The hospital was ordered to close, and it's last patients left in June of 1990.

  • 1 decade ago

    On December 7, 1987, a press conference was held to announce the closure of the Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry. The teams most recently performing investigations described the conditions as "atrocious" and "irreversible." Though originally supposed to close the following year, patient issues delayed the process. Mostly the fact that two released patients were found dead in the Delaware river in two successive days after their release. The hospital officially closed in June of 1990, with the remaining patients and staff having been transferred to Norristown State Hospital or local community centers.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    Conditions didn't improve due to over-crowding. Most state-run mental health facilities had problems with over-crowding and low staffing due to WW2. After the war the populations continued to increase until the 1960s when the "Kennedy" law took effect and forced many to find housing outside of state run facilities. A popular misconception is medications in the late 1950s made everyone better, then they left. It's now known they were kicked out to comply with federal laws. Many towns that used to have state hospitals suddenly became a haven for former patients. The faster a city got rid of their old state hospital property, the better the federal grants they received in the 1980s.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Byberry Mental Hospital took only the "crazy people" soon after it closed down hundreds of people were stealing medical equiptment and copper fittings from around the pluming, and much more. Soon after all this happened and bits of the building was ripped away, it became a haven for vagrants and the homless,,Some also say soon after it became a home for satanists as well as the others. A group of people that lived there also claimed that worshiped another devil that was not satan, and they would sacrific animals to it and the members of this cult were not allowed to leave, as soon as they came into the hospital they didnt want them to leave, but they very much welcomed the curious ones. They say that if anyone enters Byberry, and meets up with this group that they would do anything to make you stay, even if it meant killing you, and anyone else they can find in their home..There are also many mecanisms in the floor boards and such.. Go to the sourse below and it will answer any questions you might have..

    Source(s): The Byberry Mental Hospital
  • 3 years ago

    Byberry Mental Hospital

  • 1 decade ago

    I did my internship there as a psychotherapist and it was a horrible place. It became run down and dangerous place to either live or work. There were a couple of escapes by criminally insane patients. Also...several staff members were brutally attacked and two were even raped. Byberry was created and operated in the vein of most psychiatric hospitals with not a lot of emphasis on care, but more on confinement/warehousing. Pennsylvania closed down most of its mental hospitals for the criminally insane because the laws changed and it wasn't so easy to win an insanity defense. The prison system now takes care of those deemed criminally insane...or they're sent over to Alcor State in New Jersey.

  • 1 decade ago

    Im not sure exactly what you mean. But Byberry was a mental hospital until it closed down in 1985. It was abandon after that. They demolished it in 2003. It was the same thing Friends Hospital is now.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

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  • Paul S
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Good question. I used to drive by it all the time with my family on the way to my grandmothers when I was little and it spooked me. Here's a site that is even creepier?

    http://home.comcast.net/~guitarsavior4/

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