(FH Truth Meter = 100% true story)
The Arkansas State Lunatic Asylum opened in 1883, across from what is now the Taco Bell on Markham street. If you look closely you will notice the different architectural styles of the two buildings .
The Asylum was built in the Kirkbride style, as many were in that century. The architecture itself was thought to have curative properties. This theory has since been abandoned. The structure was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with the mod architecture which you can find there now.
According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, The Lunatic Asylum’s name was considered too insensitive even by 1905 standards when it was changed to the Arkansas State Hospital for Nervous Diseases. Its name was further changed in 1933 to the Arkansas State Hospital, which is what it is called today.
Above photo taken in 1963, shortly before demolition.
The photo below is of the structure which replaced it. Planet of the Apes movies comes to mind or perhaps a zombie apocalypse.
Philo Oliver Hooper was a founder of what is today UAMS, and served as superintendent of the asylum. Incidentally, his own wife was confined there as an inmate. More incidentally, Philo Hooper is direct ancestor of this strange man: Mark Hooper
Photo credits: Encyclopedia of Arkansas, UAMS Library’s Historical Research Center, Arkansas History Commission, & Mark Hooper’s Facebook page.