Riverview Mental Hospital – Center Lawn

As the hospital population increased at Essondale, there was a pressing matter for a new institutionalized building to be constructed. The second building, the Acute Psychopathic Unit, now known as Center Lawn, was opened on November 1, 1924. The new buildings original capacity was 300 beds, which was soon over loaded.

The new building made it possible to reclassify a great amount of patients via additional room for physical, laboratory, and medical examinations. Patient’s cases were thoroughly studied and recommendations were made by staff as a whole for further treatment; the patient was then transferred to whichever department was felt best suited to the patients’ needs and requirements. The top floor (fifth floor) was set aside as a psychopathic unit, entirely separate in its staffing and its care of the patients. Here, the most psychotic patients were locked in their rooms, segregated away from the general population.

(Side note: The top floor, which I refer to as the attic, is one of the creepiest spots on the whole Riverview site. The energy up there is just so dense and negative, it really makes you think about how horribly the patients were treated there. I have a history with a spirit or spirits at center lawn, including being choked and scratched, but I believe this presence originates from the attic.)

Center Lawn was one of the last buildings to close in July 2012. Another step in the gradual change to more of a forensic institution.



2 thoughts on “Riverview Mental Hospital – Center Lawn

  1. Spent 3 months at centerlawn back in ‘75. Some treatments were “ shocking “ .. could easily make a movie – a blend of American Graffiti, up in smoke & one flew over the coocoo ‘s nest.


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