Ermak Travel Guide


The World at your fingertips 


Feel free to leave your comments below. If you want to share your knowledge, additional information or experience in a particular place your input is more than welcome.


Peoria State Hospital

Peoria State Hospital








Description of Peoria State Hospital

Location: Ricketts Ave and US 24, Bartonville, IL   Map

Constructed: 1895-1910


Peoria State Hospital also known as Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane or Bartonville State Hospital is situated in Bartonville, Illinois.  Peoria State Hospital  was constructed in 1895-1910. It was closed in 1972 and have been abandoned since then.




Peoria State Hospital

Peoria State Hospital was founded as a result of the Illinois General Assembly's orders for the establishment of the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane in 1895. At the time it was a revolutionary and humane way to approach patients with mental conditions. In response to the legislation, then Governor John Altgeld appointed a three-person commission charged with site selection. The commission president was John Finely, a Peorian, and one of the members was J.J. McAndrews of Chicago who later served in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Congressman. The commission selected the site near Peoria, in Bartonville.

Construction of Peoria State Hospital started in 1895 with the main building finished in 1897. This building was never used, however, as its structural integrity was compromised by abandoned mine shafts on the property. Other theory stated that the views on mental facilities have changed and the main building of the Peoria State Hospital was simply unsuitable for the purpose of curing patients.

In 1902, reconstruction was completed under the direction of Dr. George Zeller as a cottage system plan of 33 buildings. Among the buildings were patient and caretaker housing, a store, a power station, and a communal utility building. In a sense, it was an autonomous city within a city.

Peoria State Hospital

The Illinois Hospital for the Incurable Insane began operations on February 10, 1902 and patients characterized as "incurable" were transferred to Bartonville from other Illinois facilities. In 1906 the hospital opened a training school for nurses. From 1907 to 1909 the complex was known as an Illinois General Hospital for the Insane and, in 1909 it changed its name to Peoria State Hospital. This same year, the offices of Board of Commissioners and Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities were abolished and all state-run charitable institutions were administered by the Board of Administration.

At its peak in the 1950s Peoria State Hospital housed 2800 patients. But in 1972 its doors were finally closed.