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Northern State Hospital

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 2011

Location: Skagit County

Northern State Hospital in Sedro Woolley is a sprawling campus of over 100 buildings spread over 300 acres of lush landscape in the foothills of the North Cascades. In July 2010, a recommendation was made to the National Park Service to list the entire campus as a National Register Historic District, a recommendation subsequently approved. The site features over 80 contributing historic buildings representing the work of several notable regional architects, while the landscape plan is a major project of the Olmsted Brothers landscaping firm. The near complete execution of this plan, conceived and revised from 1910-1919, makes Northern State Hospital a rare intact example of the Olmsted design work purposefully merging health care and agricultural functions. The largest hospital building at nearly 100,000 square feet anchors the center of the campus and features Spanish Colonial Revival design, an architectural style prevalent throughout the site. Given the state’s budget situation, Northern State Hospital has been slated by the State Department of General Administration to be sold as surplus property. While the entire site is listed in the National Register as a historic district, this designation confers no protection for the historic buildings/resource/landscape. If sold to another entity, structures and other elements of the district could be demolished. The Department of General Administration is exploring potential institutional clients interested in purchasing the site and utilizing the historic structures that remain.