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Location DB > United States > Indiana > Indianapolis > Central State
Central State
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 Database Info
created by nightbird on 7/12/2004 2:05 AM
last modified by S&J Explore on 9/2/2018 4:57 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
The original buildings are long demolished, with the exception of the pathology building, now used as the Indiana medical history museum. The current buildings include the pathology building, power house, amusement hall, workshop, administration building, about five residence halls dating from around the 1950's-1960's, and an unknown building(s) used as the police motor pool.

7/24/04: A clarification of the buildings on the property. Currently there are three residence halls, admin, carpenter shop (workshop), men's rec building (amusment hall), kitchen/dining hall, new power plant, old power plant, Red cross building, pathology building, campus hotel, old laundry building, some maintenance buildings used by the police and a few cottages near the edge that are now homes. Around 36 building structures total.
 Basic Information
Type: Buildings
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Depends of the building. Each Gallery will be noted for difficulty of access.
Recommendation: check it out if you're nearby
 Physical Information
Corner of W. Washington/Warman Ave.
Indianapolis, Indiana
United States
Owner: State of Indiana
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • Depends on the Building.
  •  Interesting Features
    Architecture, historical significance. Each gallery will be noted for individual features.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • barbed wire
  • dogs
  • Depends on the building. This is a large parcel of land and most buildings are not near the main roads. However, Some buildings are still active (medical history museum) AND one or two buildings are used as the POLICE MOTOR POOL. Cars, police and civilian, are common, people wandering around are not. Be alert and cautious when entering/exiting the abandoned buildings.
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1848
    Closed: 1994
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • gloves
  • Camera
  •  Recommended Equipment
    Will be noted on each gallery.
    While the Indiana legislature had authorized the establishment of a "hospital for the insane" as early as 1827, the doors of the Indiana Hospital for the Insane (later re-named Central State Hospital) did not open until November, 1848. At this time, the hospital (called the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane after 1889 and then called Central State Hospital after 1926) opened with five patients and a single building, and by 1928, physicians cared for nearly 3,000 patients. At that time, the hospital consisted of one brick building situated on a large parcel of land, numbering over 100 acres, in the outskirts of Indianapolis (on Washington Street, west of downtown). From 1848-1948, the hospital grew yearly until it encompassed two massive ornate buildings for the male and female patients, a pathological department, a "sick" hospital for the treatment of physical ailments, a farm colony where patients engaged in "occupational therapy", a chapel, an amusement hall complete with an auditorium, billiards, and bowling alleys, a bakery, a fire house, a cannery manned by patients, and idyllic gardens and fountains. For a half-century, this complex array of buildings and gardens beckoned to all of the state's mentally ill. By 1905, however, mental health institutions elsewhere in Indiana, built in Evansville, Logansport, Madison, and Richmond relieved an overcrowded Central State Hospital of some of its patient load, leaving it to treat only those from the "central district", an area of 38 counties situated in the middle portion of the state. By the late 1970s, most of the hospital's ostentatious, Victorian-era buildings were declared unsound and razed. In their place, the state constructed brick buildings of a nondescript, institutional genre. These modern buildings and the medical staff therein continued to serve the state's mentally ill, until allegations of patient abuse and funding troubles sparked an effort to forge new alternatives to institutionalization which, in turn, led to the hospital's closure in 1994.

    The grounds of Central State Hospital still stand, largely vacant as of 1999. In place of the large male and female dormitories demolished in the 1970s is a large lawn. The Pathology Department building is well-preserved and houses the Indiana Medical History Museum.

    Additional note: It has been related to me that after the facility closed in the early 90's, the dorms were briefly used as housing for the homeless.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans

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     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Guard shack
    Mon, Jul 12th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    4 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Historical photos
    Mon, Jul 12th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    14 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Amusement Hall
    Mon, Jul 12th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    23 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Sun, Jul 18th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    46 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    More from the Admin building.
    Sun, Aug 1st, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    22 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Pathology building
    Sun, Aug 1st, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    26 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Mon, Sep 6th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    26 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Bolton Building
    Mon, Sep 6th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    26 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Power house
    Mon, Sep 6th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    48 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Tunnel fun
    Sun, Sep 19th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    20 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Bahr Treatment Center
    Sat, Oct 16th, 2004
    posted by nightbird
    60 pictures

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Steed on 9/3/2018 3:02 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Sep 3 18 at 3:02, Steed validated this location
  • on Sep 2 18 at 16:57, S&J Explore changed the following: Status
  • on Jul 12 10 at 2:05, Steed validated this location
  • on Jul 12 10 at 0:20, Brent changed the following: Security Measures
  • on Jun 1 06 at 15:36, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on May 17 06 at 2:45, nightbird changed the following: Notes for Mods, Latitude, Longitude, Co-ordinate Accuracy
  • on Aug 13 05 at 16:30, ednothing deleted gallery More CSH and its 0 pictures
  • on Aug 13 05 at 16:30, ednothing deleted gallery Administration Building and its 0 pictures
  • on Aug 13 05 at 16:30, ednothing deleted gallery Administration Building and its 0 pictures
  • on Aug 11 05 at 3:15, meganb deleted 6 pictures from gallery More CSH
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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     SubjectStarted ByRepliesViewsLast Post
    You must log in for this feature to work.Go now for accessibilityUrban-Explorer021812/13/2010 5:03 PM by Urban-Explorer
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