Florida State Penitentiary
Rehabilitation Facility for the Criminally Insane
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About The Florida State Penitentiary
The Florida State Penitentiary is located just south of the "lousy state" of Georgia, and not too far from the "hillbilly dumping ground" of east Tennessee. The hospital's main building is the fourth largest hand-cut stone masonry building in the United States, and one of the largest hand-cut sandstone structures in the world.
Opened in 1867, our facilities are nestled in the solitude of a 26.5 acre footprint and a massive 500 acre campus. The hospital is designed to house 200 patients, with a designated ward for the criminally insane designed in the style of Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, the noted nineteenth-century physician and asylum superintendent who authored an influential treatise on hospital design. Kirkbride buildings are most recognizably characterized by their somewhat unique "bat wing" floorplan and their often lavish Victorian-era architecture. Their design is an attempt at creating a space to facilitate the return to sanity (with staggered wings en echelon so each connected room received sunlight and fresh air), and to promote privacy, healing, and comfort for patients.