Allentown State Hospital, formerly known as the Homoeopathic State Hospital for the Insane at Allentown, was the first homeopathic state hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill in Pennsylvania. On October 3, 1912, under the direction of its superintendent, Dr. Henry I. Klopp, the hospital opened its doors to receiving patients. In 1930, Dr. Klopp opened a children's ward on the hospital's grounds, one of the first of its kind in the world. Built to alleviate overcrowding in the state mental health system, the hospital quickly exceeded its own occupancy. By 1954, the population of the hospital hit its peak of 2,107 patients. However, Allentown State Hospital would consistently pioneer change in the mental health system until its closure in 2010. In 1993, a dedicated group of employees created the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) process to provide a safer response to supporting patients in crisis. By 1998, this approach helped put the spotlight on Allentown State Hospital when it became the first hospital in the United States to go seclusion free.
About the Author:
Steven Royer is a local resident of the Lehigh Valley and supporter of preservation efforts for the adaptive reuse of the property over the alternative choice of demolition. Throughout his studies, he has reviewed over 1,000 documents and has dedicated many hours to talking with both staff and patients of the former hospital. Many of the images contained in this book come from their personal collections and aim to provide an inside view of one of the most progressive mental health hospitals in the United States.