CSH: Image Gallery

A photographic journey into Central State Hospitals past…

– Photos with an asterisk denotes images from the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper archives
Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum Circa 1884. Photo by Theodore Irvin Jr.
Pusey Building. Circa 1901
View of the asylum looking east to west. Circa 1901.
Dr. Thomas Palmer Satterwhite, President of the asylums Board of Commisioners from 1896 until 1903.
Lakeland Railroad Station. Circa 1905
Administration building. Circa 1905.
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The tennis court at Central. Circa 1905
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View of the fountain and garden facing Lakeland Rd. Circa 1905
Central Kentucky Asylum for the Insane. Circa 1906
Lakeland Road facing towards the asylum. Circa 1906
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Amusement Building. Circa 1906 (This building along with the Administration building would be two of the final buildings demolished in the mid 1990’s.)
Interior of the Industrial and Amusement building. Circa 1906. Including (from l-r) the ballroom, library, and basement billiard room.
The male dining room at Central State. Circa 1906
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Carriage step in front of the asylum. Circa 1906.
Central Kentucky Asylum for the Insane. Circa 1910
A group of patients watching a baseball game on the grounds. Circa 1910
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The asylum laundry building. Circa 1910
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Graduating student nurse class in front of the Amusement Hall. Circa 1913
A group of male patients enjoying the day outside of Wards 26 and 27. Circa 1913
Central State Hospitals engine room. Circa 1913
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Concrete pump house. Circa 1913.  The foundation of this building can still be found on the grounds
African-American wards and new water tower. Circa 1913
Front of the Administration building. Circa 1913
Newly installed turbine in the hospitals powerhouse. – Circa 1915.
Hogs feeding on the farm. – Circa 1915.
The laundry. Circa 1915.
Main Administration building and front grounds. Circa 1920.
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A group of former servicemen being treated at Central State. Circa mid-1920’s
Unknown woman standing in front of the entrance to the cave. – Circa 1928
Hospital Kitchen. Circa 1933 – (Photo courtesy of the University of Louisville archives)
Hospital cafeteria. Circa 1933 – (Photo courtesy of the University of Louisville Archives)
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Two patients playing softball on the hospital grounds. – May 1939 *
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Dr. Louis M. Foltz using a newly donated medical lamp while examining a patient. – February 1940 *
An all girl band from Loretto High School practicing before performing for the patients. – March 1940. (Photo courtesy of the University of Louisville archives)
The Loretto High School Band performing in the Oaklawn amusement building. – March 1940. (Photo courtesy of the University of Louisville archives)
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Photos showing the state of Central States disrepair and overcrowded conditions. – March 1940 *
Patients enjoying square dancing. – March 1940. *
Patients eating in the dilapidated male dining room at Central. – April 1940. *
The patients of Central State enjoying a outdoor talent show on the grounds. – September 1941. *
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Superintendent Isham Kimbell with Mrs. A.T. McCormack and a cow. – October 1941. *
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Kentucky Governor Keen Johnson and his party on an inspection tour at Central State. – October 1941. *
Before and after pictures of Ward 21-25 after renovation. – March 1942. *
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Before and after pictures of the renovated interior of the ward building. – March 1942 *
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Before and after photos of the shower area in Pusey building during renovation. – 1942
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Before and after photos of a hallway in the Pusey building during renovation. – 1942
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Artist conception of what would become the Merritt Building. – 1942
Patient beds situated in the Amusement Hall due to the lack of roof over their wards. Due to lack of government funds, construction and renovations had been stopped. – December 1943*
Due to the shortage of government funds, this roof sits unfinished. – December 1943. *
A group pf patients walking towards to dining hall amongst unfinished construction. December 1943 *
A ward nurse fixing a female patients hair in the dismal surroundings at Central. – December 1943. *
Nurses Dormitory. Circa 1943
Kentucky Governor Simeon Willis along with Dr. A. M. Lyon, director of the states mental institutions and Joshua B. Everett, chairman of the Board of Welfare at the dedication of the reconstructed Administration Building. – October 1944. *
Western side of the Occupational Therapy Building, formerly used as the African American segregated wards. Circa 1947
Western male ward. Circa 1947
Eastern female ward. Circa 1947
Patients waiting to be seen at the new cancer clinic at Central State. – August 1948 *
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The new $350,000 kitchen at Central State. – July 1949 *
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70,000 gallons of food preserved for winter in the Hospitals cannery. – October 1949 *
A patient undergoing a dismissal review on Wednesday or “Staff Day” at Central State. On the left Dr. J. A. Little, psychiatric consultant and to the right is Dr. Frank Peddicord, assistant Superintendent. – April 1950. *
A candid picture of the Administration Buildings front porch. – May 1950
A ward attendent supervising a group of elderly male patients. – June 1950 *
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Female patients cramped into hallways. A daily scene due to the overcrowded conditions at Central State. – July 1950 *
Members of the Shawnee Post, American Legion present a new television set as a gift to the patients at Central. – August 1950. *
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Superintendent Dr. A.M. Lyon supervising the installation of two new cafeteria units. – December 1950. *
A Christmas caravan arrives at Central State. – Dec. 1950 *
Thelma Osbourn, a volunteer from the Red Cross joins a central patient in a game of shuffleboard in the male treatment ward. – July 1951 *
The Operating room at Central State. – Circa 1951.
A group of patients enjoying the grounds. – May 1952 *
A photo showing the overcrowded conditions at Central State. – May 1952 *
The newly constructed eastern female wing, built to house 292 patients. – November 1952 *
The beauty shop in the new female wing. – November 1952 *
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Side entrance to the newly built east Lyon wing. – Circa 1952
A Christmas caravan arriving at Central State to donate presents to the patients. – December 15, 1952 *
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Members of the Grand Jury on their inspection of the conditions in the Merritt Building kitchen. The findings of this inspection would result in the indictments against Superintendent Dr. A.M. Lyon and the hospitals business manger G.W. Kincaid.- April 21, 1953. *
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Members of the Grand Jury inspecting the plumbing in the Merritt Building. – April 21, 1953. *
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Grand jury members being shown beds set up in the Merritt building hydrotherapy room to relieve overcrowding. – April 21, 1953. *
Dr. Wyman and his family on the front porch of the superintendents residence shortly after his appointment as Superintendent. – June 1953 *
The hospital laundry on fire. – December 1, 1953 *
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1955 aerial view of the grounds.
The Lakeland railroad station shortly before being demolished in March 1956. Built in 1892, this station served as the major arrival point for those visiting the asylum for many years. *
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Mrs. Wendell Alcorn, Administrative Director of the children’s unit helping a young patient with his letters. – April 1956 *
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Director of children’s services, Dr. Ethel O’Brien talking with two young patients from the children’s unit. – April 1956 *
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Photos of the Tuberculosis ward. – August 1957 *
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Pictures of the new miniature golf course at Central State. – July 1957 *
Clinical Director Dr. C.W. Morris receiving presents from Santa and Mrs. Claus. – January 1958 *
Overcrowded conditions for elderly woman in Ward M, located in the basement of the Auditorium. – April 1958 *
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Dr. Fox chatting with two staff members manning the dart game during the annual Hospital picnic. (take note of the staff caricatures as targets) – August 14, 1958 *
Workers setting up for lunch in the $100,000 newly refurbished dining hall at Central State. – April 23, 1959 *
Central patients enjoying a County Fair on the grounds. – August 1959 *
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Nurse Augusta Raymond and student volunteer Marlene Bryant cleaning up after a rain leak. – August 9, 1959 *
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Two student volunteers, Angeline Waites and Marlene Bryant playing table tennis with two female patients. – August 9, 1959 *
Members of the Saint Matthews Junior Chamber of Commerce doing some volunteer painting on Ward O. – November 1959 *
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Christmas entertainment at Central State. – December 1960 *
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One of the many overcrowded wards at Central State – November 1961 *
Drawing of the proposed new campus buildings. – April 1962 *
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Drawing of proposed new dining hall. – April 1962 *
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Donna Jackson, a Central State nurse, demonstrates the dispensing of tranquilizers for patients. – April 22, 1962 *
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The new campus buildings undergoing construction. – June 1963 *
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The new gymnasium under construction. – November 14, 1963 *
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Clinical Director Dr. Imogene Gobble, talking with Eugene Goodbub, Hospital Engineer and Robert P. Funk, Hospital Administrator in the new Administration buildings first floor lounge. – November 15, 1963 *
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The new two-story dormitories at CSH. – November 15, 1963 *
The main entrance to the new Administration building on the new campus. – March 1964 *
Members of CSH’s “Gateway” at a group therapy session. – April 1964 *
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Kentucky Governor Edward T. Breathitt is given a laboratory demonstration by Dr. Jan Balling during a tour of the new buildings. – May 1964 *
Cornelius Sandifort, the hospitals art therapist explaining some of the art work done by patients to a group of volunteer workers. – October 1964 *
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Superintendent Hayes supervising as the first patients are moved into the new main building. – July 29, 1965 *
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CSH Psychiatrist Wilber Mitchell administering Electro-shock therapy to a patient. – 1965 *
Patients and hospital staff eating lunch in the new dining hall. – October 1965 *
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A patient using a loom in the Occupation Therapy Building. – October 1965 *
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Patients exercising in the new gym. – October 1965 *
Patients and Aides piecing quilts in a basement workshop. – October 1965 *
Patients working in the Hospital laundry. – March  1967 *
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A patient in their room in the Pusey Building. – March 1967 *
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A photo of a ward in the Pusey building showing that even with the additional new buildings at Central State, the overcrowded conditions continued to be a problem. – March 1967 *
Mr. R.C. Abbott, a Central State patient cuts the ribbon at the formal dedication for the new hospital buildings along with Dr. Dale H. Farabee, the state commissioner of mental health. – November 1967 *
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The Christmas Nativity scene at Central State being inspected by patients and student nurse Ms. Joann Hunley. – December 1967 *
Mrs. Carolyn Murphy serves lunch to a patient. – July 28, 1968. *
Psychiatric aide James Scott works with a male patient. – July 28, 1968
Patients in art therapy. – February 1972 *
Administration building. Circa 1973
A female patient eats her lunch while an inspection is conducted at (then) River Region Hospital. – c. 1975 *
Firemen inspecting a hallway of the Merritt Building after putting out a fire. – January 4, 1976 *
Advertisement for nurses. Circa 1982 *
The entrance to the cave. – 1991. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Domzalski)
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A group of potential investors walking the grounds during an auction of the Administration building. – April 1993 *
The new Central State Hospital campus. – January 1999. *


– Contributed by Jay Gravatte

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