Second Chances: The Story of Fergus Falls State Hospital
MinneCulture | KFAI
In the late 19th century, insane asylums were built across the country in response to a national outcry over the treatment of the mentally ill. More than 75 asylums were designed using Dr. Thomas Kirkbride’s Moral Treatment Plan, which claimed that mental ailments could be alleviated with beautiful architecture and serene landscaping. The former State Hospital in Fergus Falls is one of the few remaining intact Kirbride hospitals in the country. Re-named the Regional Treatment Center in 1985, the building is destined for the wrecking ball if a developer is not soon found. KFAI producer Susan Gray spoke with preservation supporters to learn about the building's historical significance to Fergus Falls, and the treatment of people with mental illness.