The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital

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The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital
The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, known to many simply as Sheppard Pratt, is a psychiatric hospital located in Towson, a northern suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. The hospital was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. Founded in 1853 by Baltimore merchant Moses Sheppard, after a visit by mental health rights advocate and social reformer Dorothea Lynde Dix, the hospital was originally called the Sheppard Asylum. The original buildings were designed by famous architect Calvert Vaux and constructed on what had previously been a 340-acre (1.4 km 2) farm. The cornerstone of the original building was laid in spring of 1862. Sheppard stipulated that the following conditions were to be imposed for the Asylum: “Courteous treatment and comfort of all patients; that no patient was to be confined below ground; all were to have privacy, sunlight and fresh air; the asylum's purpose was to be curative, combining science and experience for the best possible results; and that only income, not principal would be used to build and operate the asylum.” As a result of these financial restrains, the Asylum did not open until 1891, 34 years after Sheppard's death. It also left it with financial uncertainty, putting its long-term future in doubt. The future of the Asylum was greatly enhanced when in 1893, the estate of Baltimore merchant Enoch Pratt bequeathed a substantial amount of his fortune to complete the construction and expand the asylum with the stipulation that the name change to The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. In 2000, Sheppard Pratt retained the services HDR, Inc. to design a major expansion to the campus, which would be the largest addition to Sheppard Pratt since its inception. The new addition was as large as the original buildings, encompassing over 270,000 square feet (25,000 m 2), effectively doubling the size of the facility. This expansion and renovation is now complete, and moved patient rooms from the hospital's twin historic Victorian era buildings to more modern facilities. Today the hospital is one of the leading mental health providers in the United States, and has been constantly ranked in the top 10 by US News and World Report.

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