In 2013 I was hired by the U.S. General Services Administration to write a history of St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC. I spent about eight months doing research, mainly at the National Archives, and another six months writing.
Originally opened in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane, St. Elizabeths (no apostrophe) served the "insane" of the Army, Navy, and indigent residents of the District of Columbia and was the first federal mental facility in the United States.
For much of it's history St. Elizabeths was as the forefront of mental health care in the United States. From March 25, 2017 to January 15, 2018, the National Building Museum is mounting an exhibition: Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017.
I consulted on the exhibit, but I haven't seen the finished product yet.
Click here to see more pictures
and for a full history of
St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC.