Northern State Hospital Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Northern State Hospital, a treatment facility for the mentally ill built in 1909, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 20, 2010. According to the press release, “Northern State Hospital is historically significant for its connection to the broad patterns of institutionalizing the mentally ill at the turn of the 20th century as expressed in the Pacific Northwest.” Portions of the campus, which is only partially occupied, have fallen into gradual disrepair after the hospital’s closing in 1973. The listed area spans 225 acres of the original campus, containing the main hospital buildings, and is under ownership of the State of Washington Department of General Administration. Due to a statewide budget shortfall, the listed property is now on the market for $17 million.
The site layout and design of the original 826-acre campus was the work of the Olmsted Brothers firm and architects Saunders & Lawton who were responsible for many of the Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings on the property. The Olmsted Brothers landscape is a noteworthy example of the firms work at the time. Listing in the National Register will help raise awareness of the significance of the historic structures and landscape.