Asylum Buildings at Wernersville.
The accompanying illustration presents a bird’s-eye view of the buildings now being erected by the State of Pennsylvania, at Wernersville, near Reading, for the care of the Chronic Insane. The buildings now under contract and in process of construction are seven in all.—that slightly to the front, in the centre, which is the “Administration Building,” and the four “Ward Buildings,” slightly back of and on either side of the Administration building. These seven buildings will form in themselves a complete institution for 600 patients.
The administration building contains the offices, sleeping and living apartments of the superintendent and his assistants. The wards, which each contain four large dormitories, each accommodating about fifty patients, will be occupied only at night.
The shops will be fitted up for printing offices, brush and broom making, shoe-making, etc. It is expected that a great advance will be made here in the employment of the time of the unfortunate insane.
The buildings are built of hard red bricks, made in the vicinity of Wernersville. The stone trimmings are of Pennsylvania blue marble. In all buildings occupied by the patients collectively the floors are formed of steel beams and brick arches, making the structures as nearly fireproof as possible.
The commissioners to select the site and erect the buildings were appointed by the governor, in pursuance of an act of the legislature passed at the last session. The appropriation of money made them is $500,000, and the operations now undertaken will cost less than that amount. The commissioners are Wharton Barker, Dr. Alice Bennett (superintendent of the female department of the State hospital for the insane of Norristown). Henry M. Dcchert, John B. Storm and John M. Reynolds. The architects are Messrs. Rankin and Kellogg, Philadelphia. We are indebted to the manufacturer of Philadelphia for our facts and illustration.