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July 15, 2019


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Great pictures, thanks! I did not realize that about the asylum vs. the university. Fascinating and short-sighted, one would argue, although it worked out well enough in the end with ASU.

Mark. I dont find that suprising.
Still a lot of that "logic" around.

Are those the buildings that Winnie Ruth Judd escaped from? Do they still stand? Isn't the whole complex hidden from view at the street level?

Now, the insane are being sent to a place called "Desert Vista." I bet its architecture isn't as fine as that of the old state hospital!

Yep, Winnie was there. There are two books by different author's about Winnie.
I was there in 62 on Admissions and Maximum Security wards.

You need quotes around "escaped" when you talk about Winnie Ruth.
Jana Bommersbach book is rhe best one.

A major fire hit the asylum in 1911, destroying much of the structure shown. A wing, renamed the Mahoney Building still survives (I believe).

A new hospital was built, and additions made over the decades, notably a mission-style designed by Lescher & Mahoney. The State Hospital also had cottages and smaller adjacent buildings, as well as a graveyard and a farm.

Interesting in the 1899 map that Roosevelt St. was originally Baltimore / Ash and the current president-named streets south of it were originally state names.

In the block between 7th and 15th Aves and Van Buren and Baltimore (Roosevelt), what does University refer to? Fascinating.

University (or University Park) was originally intended as the site of a Methodist Episcopal university. Considering the Methodists founded such schools as USC, what a loss for central Phoenix.

Great information. Thanks!

In 62 the old main administration building was up the drive north from the Van Buren entrance. The building existed but was in ruins. The basement was used by patients for partying.
There are lots of stories.
Maximum security was where state prisoners to be executed had to be housed and determined sane enough to understand the state was going to kill them.
The Asylum had houses for psychiatric staff. Two psychiatrists a brother and sister committed suicide in one of the staff residences. Staff was informed they had been living as husband and wife.
And Ramjets right about "escape"

My maternal grandparents, John and Nellie Kelly managed the farm at the state hospital during the late 40’s. A tornado came through and tore off the roof of the house, destroyed the barn and killed the cow and the dog with her puppies. My parents lived with them for a while and Winnie Ruth Judd was my babysitter. She was not insane.
My grandfather also buried the dead with the help of inmate “trustees”. I interned there as a psychiatric aide in the 60’s.
My paternal grandfather, Charles Nafziger, was a fire captain at station house #1 in the 20’s. I have a pic of him with the horse drawn fire wagons. I love Phoenix!

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