Trenton Psychiatric Hospital

Trenton Psychiatric Hospital in the 1800s. Designed by John Notman according to a Kirkbride plan.

Founded in 1848 by the legendary 19th century social reformer Dorothea Dix, once home to over 4000 patients, today with only 375 beds in service, Trenton Psychiatric Hospital is a faded, still functioning memorial to a one-time benevolent institutional care model for mental illness–and a modern-day reminder of what can become of social welfare enterprises taken over by and managed by government.

To read a one-page history of TPH, click here.

To read about the notorious Dr. Henry Cotton, hospital superintendent  in the 1920s and 30s, whose controversial infection theories about “focal sepsis” and subsequently discredited surgical practices that led to hundreds of patient deaths at TPH, click here.

To see a collection of photographs of the historic Kirkbridge buildings at TPH (designed by noted Philadelphia architect John Notman), now unfortunately abandoned and in disrepair, click here.

To see photographs of TPH’s one room museum about its founder, Dorothea Dix, who in her retirement lived out her remaining days at TPH, click here.

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