AKA: State of California, Southern California State Homeopathic Hospital, Patton, CA; State of California, Department of Mental Health, Patton State Hospital, San Bernardino, CA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - health and welfare buildings; built works - public buildings - hospitals

Designers: Curlett, William, Architect (firm); William F. Curlett (architect)

Dates: constructed 1893

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Patton, CA

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This sprawling complex of brick, Romanesque buildings was opened in 1893 to serve the mentally ill and addicted in rural San Bernardino County, in what was called the city of Highland, later known as Patton. Placing the huge institution in a secluded rural area served several purposes. First, it enabled state lawmakers to cash in on any land that they may have owned in the area. Second, a rural atmosphere was seen as more therapeutic for the mentally ill than congested, distracting and confusing urban areas. Third, it removed the mentally-ill person from population centers where there presence was disturbing. This was especially true at a time when little was known about mental illness, and treatments ranged from faddist cures to bizarre "therapeutic" processes.

Building History

This large, regional asylum was chartered by the state in 1889 and opened on 08/01/1893, originally treating a variety of patients, including the mentally-ill, substance-addicted and tubercular. In 1927, the State of CA renamed it the "Patton State Hospital" to commemorate Harry Patton, an original member of its Board of Managers. In 2010, the CA State Department of Mental Health managed the far-flung facility, the main State-run forensic mental hospital in the region.

Building Notes

In 1916, this homeopathic hospital was a large-scale, public institution, its property consisting of a main building, a Mediterranean Revival Convalescent Building and a small cluster of well-ventilated, gable-roofed, tuberculosis pavilions. At this time, the entire 2,200-bed complex treated 2,823 patients with a relatively high 6.4% fatality rate. The complex's land and buildings had a value of about $1 million in 1916. The facility has also been known as the "Southern California State Asylum for Insane and Inebriates," and "The Patton State Hospital."


Numerous alterations and changes have occurred to this facility since 1893.

PCAD id: 15531