Nevada, MO

The 1937 Missouri State Hospital No. 3 building was repurposed into Ash Place Apartments

CJ Coombs
Ash Place apartments, at 2095 N. Ash Street in Nevada, Missouri; seen from the southeast.Photo byAmmodramus, CC0 1.0 Universal public domain dedication.

What used to be known as the Infirmary Building, Missouri State Hospital No. 3 (aka Nevada State Hospital) is now Ash Place Apartments. This large X-shaped building is located at 2095 N. Ash Street in Nevada, Missouri. In 2005, this building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This building was constructed in 1937 as part of a Public Works Administration project. The foundation is reinforced concrete and the walls are brick. The architectural style is Modern Movement. The architectural firm was Carroll and Dean from Kansas City. An asylum design plan was devised by Thomas Story Kirkbride (the Kirkbride Plan) for constructing the building. From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, facilities like this were built around the country using this plan.

This building is an example of the infirmary facilities that were intended to treat frail and tubercular patients at a state mental hospital.

The arrangement of spaces and uses reflects the needs of a large state-run psychiatric hospital to address the care of a large number of infirm, long-term patients. Of particular note are the specialized facilities, including heliotherapy decks, devoted to the lengthy treatment of tubercular patients in the period before antibiotics. (Source.)

On March 3, 1885, Missouri State Hospital №3 was created by the Missouri State Assembly to treat psychiatric patients. The cities of Springfield, Carthage, and Nevada then competed to have the facility in their region. Nevada was chosen as the site for the new state asylum.

Nevada, Missouri

The town of Nevada was laid out in 1855. Construction for the new hospital began the following year. Nevada was incorporated in March 1869. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad was the first railroad line to serve Nevada in 1870. A decade later, another railroad line was established by the Lexington and Southern Nevada Railroad.

Nevada was prospering by 1887 with three local banks and newspapers, schools, both public and private, and a number of churches, and utility companies. Part of the decision in building the asylum in Nevada was due to its natural resources.

Located at the north end of the Ozark Mountains at an altitude of 1,100 feet, the town became known for its mineral water and pure air. (Source.)

The state hospital's first building opened in October 1889

At the time the first building was constructed, it was "the single largest public building in Missouri..." From the start of construction, all of which was contained within 520 acres, it was a self-sufficient operation. The complex also provided a source of employment for the town's residents.

In the 1930s, due to overcrowdedness, new buildings were constructed. Over three decades later, there were "approximately 950 employees and 1,500 patients." Coinciding with the construction of the Infirmary Building intended for patients needing chronic care, there was a Clinic Building built for patients with non-acute or chronic needs. An employee dormitory was also constructed.

In 1973, the facility was divided by the Missouri Division of Mental Health into the Nevada State Hospital which treated mentally ill patients, and the Nevada State School and Hospital became a treatment, training, and habilitation center for mentally retarded and developmentally disabled patients. In 1983, the Nevada State School and Hospital was renamed Nevada Habilitation Center.

In 1991, Missouri State Hospital No. 3 closed, but the Nevada Habilitation Center continued to be operated by the state. In 1995, a lot of the hospital grounds and buildings were donated to the City of Nevada by then-Governor Mel Carnahan for use as a technology center. The original main hospital building was razed. In 2010, it was reported by The Joplin Globe, the Nevada Habilitation Center was set to close in 2012.

The apartment community of Ash Place is managed by Fairway Management, Inc.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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