The Story: Once the nation's largest mental hospital and second largest in the world, the campus of Central State Hospital has grown and changed just as much as the study of mental health. Built in 1842, Central State Hospital (CSH) was Georgia’s first psychiatric hospital, chartered by the legislature in 1837 with the intent of providing Georgians with mental illness or retardation with a safe and humane environment. The CSH, at its peak, had 13,000 patients and boasted its own nursing school. It currently occupies roughly 1,000 acres. It has been said that the hospital’s first superintendent Dr. Green, not only convinced General Sherman not to burn the hospital as he passed through Milledgeville, but also persuaded the General to offer some of his troops’ rations to the patients at the hospital. Currently, there is an effort to restore the CSH’s cemeteries, which were recently featured on NBC's The Today Show.
The Threat: Some of the buildings have been vacant for years and are suffering from neglect. Many roofs have collapsed, leaving the buildings structurally unstable. Without immediate repairs, deterioration is imminent.