Bartonville Mental Institution

Bartonville Mental Institution

Limited Edition Framed Photos: 8×10: $125, 11×14: $150

The Bartonville Asylum for the Incurably Insane was constructed and opened in 1892 under the direction of Superintendent George A. Zeller.  Dr. Zeller was one of the forefathers in reevaluating and changing 19th Century practices still being used on the mentally disabled.  He also suggested an open living environment for patients.  A handful of books have been written on the subject of Dr. Zeller’s Groundbreaking ideas and practices, including the book Asylum Light.  Whether  or not Bartonville lived up to his expectations, over the years there were many tales of abuse and neglect.  Less than a quarter mile away from the hospital lays a graveyard, which holds over 4000 graves of patients that died on the premise while under the hospital’s care.  The State of Illinois closed the facility in 1973.  The City of Bartonville acquired the land in 1984 and started developing it.  Only one of the original 12 buildings still stands in its entirety.  Photographing throughout this building was a truly amazing experience, as the building appeared to overwhelmed by a mysterious presence.


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