Weston State Hospital

aka "Lunatic Asylum West of the Allegheny Mountains"

Weston, West Virginia

Established 1858

New! Preservation Group: Weston Landmark

"One of the largest hand-cut stone masonry buildings in the United States, the Weston Hospital took two decades to build following the original 1858 plan. Beautifully preserves and conforming to the innovative Kirkbride plan, this West Virginia facility -- once quite isolated -- was a model architectural community that operated for over one hundred years."

Still standing as of 1997, according to the Historic Preservation Service. The community is at this time trying to figure out appropriate uses for the building. The building uses a relatively linear version of the Kirkbride plan (as opposed to versions of the plan such as found at other hospitals, in which the side wings recede sharply back from the center wing). It appears to be quite similar to the Spencer State Hospital, West Virginia's other major institution. The Spencer main building was constructed of brick rather than the stone blocks that Weston was built of.

This former asylum made national news in 1999 due to thousands of dollars in vandalism damage by local police. There are plans underway to turn the main building into a National Museum of the Civil War.


Historic Images

Click on the postcard and photo thumbnails to see a much larger historic image.

Postcard Postcard 1908 Photo 1910 Postcard

Postcard 1899 Photo Photo

The postcard images were made available with the kind permission of Blackwood Associates, Architects and Planners



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