Reception Hospital at Howard

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Reception Hospital at Howard


Black-and-white image and color drawing of the Reception Hospital at Howard.

In 1912, the Reception Hospital (A Building) was opened. With 184 beds it was intended to permit appropriate diagnosis and classification of patients as they entered the institution. This effort became a reality with the assignment in 1916 of psychiatric social workers to the state hospital. The Training School for Nurses was opened in conjunction with the Reception Building, and when the Rhode Island Medical Society held its annual meeting there, it recorded its approval. Nonetheless, the new facility did not relieve overcrowding, and in 1913, 2000 people were sleeping on the floor at the State Hospital for the Insane. The completion of B Ward in 1916 and C Ward in 1918 responded to the population increase and at last fulfilled Martin and Hall’s plan for “simple and dignified” buildings and “plain red brick walls with pitched roofs, without any attempt at ornamentation.” Standing just west of Howard Avenue and opposite the old House of Correction, the Martin and Hall quadrangle signals the beginning of a new mode of construction at Howard - red brick buildings in a simple Colonial Revival style grouped around a quadrangle and containing dormitories, single rooms, and porches as well as treatment facilities.
Excerpt from: Historical Preservation Commission’s Statewide Historical Preservation Report P-C-1 on Cranston, 1980

See also:
Cranston: National Register of Historic Places, 1984

Report of the Committee of State Charities and Corrections Upon the State Institutions at Cranston, Made to the Senate, at its January Session, 1883

Report of the Joint Special Committee on the State Asylum for the Insane Made to the General Assembly at its January Session, A.D. 1868

Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission:  Statewide Preservation Reports, 1975 - 1982

Article Written by William F. Gleason, M.D....on a State School for Feeble-Minded Children, 1907

Report of State Commission on Public Welfare Institutions, 1943

Special Legislative Commission to Study the Howard Complex records, 1970-1972

External Related Resources:
Rhode Island Historical Society: Rhode Island State Institutions Records, 1839-1968 (bulk 1885-1944)

Missouri State Archives exhibit- Quest for a Cure: Care and Treatment in Missouri's First State Mental Hospital


Accession 2015-28


Rhode Island State Archives


c. 1914


Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.





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Original Format

lantern slides


Rhode Island. Board of Charities and Corrections (1789-1917), "Reception Hospital at Howard," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #774, (accessed September 20, 2019).