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Agnews State Hospital, Men's Convalescent Home, West Side of North Circle Drive, Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, CA



See 22 maps of this location


Item Title
Agnews State Hospital, Men's Convalescent Home, West Side of North Circle Drive, Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, CA

Location
West Side of North Circle Drive, Santa%2525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252BClara, CA

Find maps of Santa%2525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252BClara, CA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS CA-2710-E
Building/structure dates: 1918 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1984 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1994 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1998 demolished
Significance: Building 5 is significant as an integral component of the reconstruction of Agnews State Hospital in a pavilion plan. The 1908 design for the hospital represented not only a reconfiguration of buildings into smaller structures in a park-like setting, but an important change in the perspectives on and the treatment of patients. Agnews was the first mental facility in California to switch from the confinement and permanent housing of patients to humane treatment with the hope of release. Building 5, the Men's Convalescent Home, represents the residential portion of the plan. In keeping with the pavilion model, it was constructed as a specialized housing unit surrounded by grass and trees, and each room had ample windows to allow in light and air. Building 5 and its counterpart, Building 6, the Women's Convalescent Home, were the last step in a residential system that progressed from housing for patients with the most debilitating mental illnesses to those preparing to leave the hospital. In the Convalescent Homes patients were given more freedom and responsibility. An attendant supervised the home, but patients did the cooking, serving, and cleaning thereby learning basic living skills they would need in the community. In addition, Building 5 and the other structures from the 1908 plan are important as early attempts to use reinforced concrete as an earthquake and fire-resistant material.

Related Names
Stock, Jody, Historian
Corbett, Michael, Historian


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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