This section contains vintage newspaper articles as well as building floor plans,
drawings and photographs covering the Toledo State Hospital site and of the Hospital
buildings and grounds.
Toledo State Hospital History
The Toledo State Hospital first started taking shape in 1883 when the Ohio General
Assembly passed an Act donating 150 acres of land to construct an institution on
the corner of Detroit and Arlington in Toledo.
The Toledo Asylum as it was then known was designed by Edward O. Fallis, one of Toledo’s
most prominent architects of the time. The Asylum was designed around a detached
ward or cottage plan. There were thirty four buildings, twenty of which were cottages
that housed the less extreme cases of insane individuals; six buildings - two infirm
wards, two hospitals, and two strong wards - housed those considered more critically
insane. The grounds featured man-made lagoons, an administration building, a working
farm, a library, an auditorium, a greenhouse and a chapel. consisting of a number
of detached wards with larger buildings for the more seriously ill. By 1887, at a
cost of under $700,000, the initial building phase had been completed. There were
thirty four buildings, twenty of which were cottages that housed the less extreme
cases, while six buildings - two infirm wards, two hospitals, and two strong wards
- housed those considered more critically insane. The grounds featured man-made lagoons,
and numerous buildings including an administration building, a working farm, an
auditorium, a greenhouse, and a chapel. The maximum capacity of the entire project
could house 1,800 patients.
The Toledo Asylum for the Insane opened in January of 1888. The first superintendent,
Dr. Henry A. Tobey, believed in humane treatment of institutionalized patients. Dr.
Tobey believed keeping patients busy and out of doors engaged in useful activities
would keep them from dwelling on their problems.
In 1894 the Toledo Asylum for the Insane officially changed its name to the Toledo
State Hospital. The Mission Statement and Philosophy of the Asylum read, “The secret
of their care and keeping them contented is to have them lead as normal a life as
possible, with good clean, healthy surroundings, plenty of nourishing food, and fresh
In the 1950s, the hospital population swelled to 3,500 patients. In the years following,
deinstitutionalization led to a dramatic decrease in patient population. The Asylum
began moving patients off of the property in the early 1970s. By this time the old
buildings had deteriorated and were all destroyed by the early 1990s.
Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital, located on the same site, is the current treatment
center and psychiatric hospital in Toledo and is owned and operated by the state
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TSHCRC is a grass roots organization that welcomes donations to support of our efforts
to restore the State Hospital cemeteries. Tax deductible donations can be made to
NAMI of Greater Toledo. For more details see our Donating page.