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Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

71 Asylum Drive

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, constructed between 1858 and 1881, is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, and is purportedly the second largest in the world, next to the Kremlin. It was designed by the renowned architect Richard Andrews following the Kirkbride plan, which called for long rambling wings arranged in a staggered formation, assuring that each of the connecting structures received an abundance of therapeutic sunlight and fresh air. The original hospital, designed to house 250 souls, was open to patients in 1864 and reached its peak in the 1950's with 2,400 patients in overcrowded and generally poor conditions. Changes in the treatment of mental illness and the physical deterioration of the facility forced its closure in 1994 inflicting a devastating effect on the local economy, from which it has yet to recover.


Mr V

Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018
It was very Informative. When you walk in there is a Historical Items and facts you can look at before your tour. We had Rhiannon(?) and she was fun, Informative and good at stories. I did learn a lot. We did the 4 Floor Paranormal tour. You get warned about this on their site but something people complain about is the Heat/Cold. If its hot outside, Its gonna be hotter inside, If its cold outside, Its gonna be colder inside. Be aware of when you are going. Only bad thing I have to say was the other guests. Stopping in front of people to take pictures and wondering off. If you are gonna stop and take pictures then get near the end of the line. Had a Family of three doing it to everyone and it made the experience tense because everyone was getting angry at them.

Kyle Smith

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Did the 8 hour ghost hunt. Had awesome guides in Jim and Anna. They were very knowledgeable and were able to answer every question our group had. Got to experience some very cool things and take part in paranormal investigating with them. Had a great time. Would recommend doing a ghost hunt here if you have the chance to.

Kelly McFadden

Thursday, June 21, 2018
We took the longer 4 floor historic tour and recommend it if you can handle steps. Our guide, Seth, was great. Knowledgeable and friendly. And it's always great to get a tour guide who clearly loves their job. This is an informative and interesting tour. But it was also very emotional. We still don't know exactly what to do and how to help our mentally ill citizens. This is a step back in time and covers care and conditions from the Civil War until just a few decades ago. Some tragic and some very supportive. It is also quite impressive to learn about the continuing restoration efforts of this enormous historic facility and the importance of the asylum and outpatient buildings for the community at large through the years. Highly recommend this visit. They also offer shorter tours and paranormal tours as well as ghost hunts and other adventures. We did not take any of those but would consider it in the future. As long as everyone is respectful of those that lived and died there, but that is at the mercy of the other visitors. There are private group options if you can get a group together for the visit.

Jackie Hilgers

Monday, July 30, 2018
I was there for the paranormal night tour coming in as a skeptic. I'm no longer a skeptic. I had a couple experiences that just couldn't be mistaken for anything else. On another note, the place has a rich history. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and fun. If you dont come for the ghosts, come for the history and the incredible building itself!

Lisa Johnson

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
This place is really gorgeous. What happened to so many people was not gorgeous, but the structure itself is beautiful. I do like the informative tours they give. I like that some of the staff dress up in uniforms to add a sort of nostalgia touch to the place. I like that the people who own this asylum keep renovating it and using some of their money for educational purposes. They also have a wing set up so you can see the art from patients that stayed in the asylum. They do have a gift shop for shirts and souvenirs you want to take home with you. On the shot glasses it has the dates from when they started construction to the time the asylum officially opened. I do wish they would have had the dates from when they officially opened to the day they officially closed instead. Otherwise I would have picked one up. Other than that I have no complaints or anything negative to say about my time here. Everything was great. Even the people that worked there were super friendly.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media