Athens Asylum, Athens Ohio
The Athens Mental Health Asylum was built in 1868 and operated until 1993. The Athens hospital was one of many asylums in the U.S. that once housed the mentally ill. It was closed as a part of larger effort in from the late 1970s to early 90s to shift the mentally ill population from traditional institutions to streets, homeless shelters and prisons. The Athens hospital is the only of several such institutions in Ohio that is still standing. The hospital and associated properties were transferred to Ohio University after it closed. Ohio University has re-branded the property as "The Ridges" and has been renovating and redeveloping it for school use. Some of the original buildings have been demolished but many have been restored and are now being used as classrooms and offices. The main asylum building (pictured) now houses a cafe and gallery on it's ground floor. The grounds are open to the public and now function as a park. There are 3 cemeteries on the property where the majority of the burials are marked with tombstones with numbers and nothing else on them.