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Fans plan to hug historic Minnesota mental hospital

Fans plan to hug historic Minnesota mental hospital Click to Enlarge Photo: Xiaoming Zhao, Photos.com

Jul 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

ST. PAUL, MN (AP) - A vacant state mental hospital in Fergus Falls, Minn., will get a group hug Saturday from preservationists who hope to save the building.
 
The Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center is one of a dwindling number of asylums built under the 19th-century philosophy of Doctor Thomas Kirkbride, who wanted to bring light and air into psychiatric wards.
 
The Friends of the Kirkbride are hoping to draw attention the building's plight as city officials look toward planning its demolition.
 
They stand to lose $7 million in state funds if they don't raze the building or find a new use by December 2014.
 
Maxine Schmidt, who leads tours through the historic building, says it's an architectural masterpiece. She has collected more than 4,000 signatures on petitions to save the Kirkbride.
 

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