The Garrett Infirmary Building, 1934

This drawing of the Garrett Infirmary shows the building as it appeared at the time of its official opening, on April 2, 1934. The structure had been designed in 1931, and construction was begun in 1932. A report from 1934 reads:

"[The Garrett Building is of gray stone, in conformity with the existing buildings. There are three stories, accommodating two hundred patients, equally divided for men and women. The interior walls are of glazed buff brick, and [the] floors are of cement, tarazza and tile. It is equipped with a passenger elevator, living quarters for the officers and nurses and a central kitchen. It contains a surgical operating room, sterilizer, laboratories, X-ray room, solariums, and a complete Physio-Therapy Plant, consisting of ultra-violet and Red Ray Lamps, a diathermy machine, packs, continuous baths and electrical sweat baths. There, also are isolation rooms for contagious diseases." (The Beacon, 1934)

The Garrett Building functioned very much as a general hospital would function today. General medical, surgical, and even obstetrical care was provided. In1936, Spring Grove began what was considered pioneering work in several forms of shock therapy, and both shock treatments and prefrontal lobotomies were performed in the Garrett Building for a number of years. In addition, beginning in around 1932, Spring Grove began to regularly treat catatonic states ("general paresis") through the induction of fevers. The diathermy machine mentioned above was used for this purpose, as was the intentional inoculation of patients with the sporozoan that causes Malaria. The Garrett Building was replaced as Spring Grove's medical/surgical facility upon the completion of the Smith Building in 1975. Today, the first floor of the west wing of the Garrett Building houses the Spring Grove Alumni Museum. The door that currently leads to the museum's entrance is seen on the right side of the building in the drawing seen at the top of this page. Click HERE to see a picture of the Garrett Building today.