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The Institute of Living is a mental health center in Hartford, Connecticut affiliated with Hartford Hospital. The hospital was built in 1823, and was opened to admissions in 1824.[1] Eli Todd was its first director.[2] The hospital cost $12,000 to build and could serve up to 40 patients at a time. It was the first hospital of any kind established in Connecticut and the third psychiatric hospital in the United States. The hospital's 35 acres (14 ha) campus was landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1860s.

The hospital was originally called the Connecticut Retreat for the Insane. Its name changed several times, but it was often referred to as the Hartford Retreat.[1]

During its 175th anniversary, the Institute of Living opened an exhibition titled "Myths, Minds and Medicine" on the history of the Institute and psychiatric treatment in general.

It has shared the "retreat" moniker with the Brattleboro Retreat and the York Retreat, which was the naming inspiration for both institutions.



  1. ^ a b "Connecticut Retreat for the Insane". Historic Asylums. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  2. ^ Leach, Charles (February/March/April 2004). "Hospital Rock". Hog River Journal. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  


Further reading

  • Goodheart, Lawrence (2003). Mad Yankees: The Hartford Retreat for the Insane and Nineteenth-Century Psychiatry. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 1-55849-405-7.  

External links



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