AKA: Territory of Washington, Fort Steilacoom Asylum, Steilacoom, WA; State of Washington, Western State Hospital #2, Fort Steilacoom, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - hospitals

Designers: Berens, Anton, Building Contractor (firm); Boone and Meeker, Architects (firm); Dennis, Oliver Perry, Architect (firm); Heath and Gove, Architects (firm); Proctor and Farrell, Architects (firm); Anton Berens (building contractor); William Ely Boone (architect); Oliver Perry Dennis (architect); William Farrell (architect); George Gove (architect); Frederick Henry Heath (architect); George Cook Meeker (architect); John Gardiner Proctor (architect)

Dates: constructed 1886-1887

Western State Hospital, Steilacoom, WA

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The Washington Territory's first refuge for the mentally ill was called the "Fort Steilacoom Asylum" and it functioned between 1871 and 1886 in buildings formerly built and occupied by the US Army at Fort Steilacoom. For four years, the Territory of Washington contracted with a private management company to run the facility, although this proved unsatisfactory and the Territory took over administration in 1875. When new facilities were completed in 1887, the name of the institution was changed to the "Western Washington Hospital for the Insane," and was known under this name from 1887-1915. Another new building program initiated another name change in 1915 to the current "Western State Hospital."

Building History

Like most hospitals, the Western State Hospital grew in various stages. The original location of the hospital was in former buildings of the US Army's Fort Steilacoom; this was demolished to make way for the second hopital--the main ward building of which was erected in 1887--and numerous out-buildings were created in each subsequent decade. Seattle architectural firm, Boone and Meeker designed the original 1886-1887 buildings. A great number of architects, engineers and building contractors made additions to hospital facilities, between 1887-1933.


PCAD id: 13588