Hazelwood State Tuberculosis Sanitarium

Hazelwood as a tuberculosis sanatorium.
Hazelwood Sanatorium, (Circa 1944, image from the Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky)


Opened in 1907 thanks, in part, to the Kentucky Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Hazelwood Sanatorium has had a number of names and purposes over the years. After a fire in 1915 which destroyed the original hospital, efforts were quickly made to rebuild and replace. In the early 1970s, Hazelwood Sanatorium followed the same path that many other tuberculosis hospitals did and ceased to operate as a treatment facility for tubercular cases. This was objected by some physicians as they felt the need existed to maintain a facility for treating tuberculosis despite advances in treatments. It was later refurbished to house individuals with developmental disabilities and as a replacement for the crib units at Kentucky’s Frankfort State Hospital. Hazelwood had a peak of approximately 200 patients in the middle of the century and operates today as Hazelwood Intermediate Care Facility (main building only).

The Elks Building built in 1946, is scheduled for demolition by the end of 2018. The Mack Hill building at Hazelwood was built around 1950s as a school for the juvenile TB patients and was demolished just this month.

While The Elks Building did not meet the same National Historical Register criteria for sanatorium architecture as Waverly, London, Ashland and Madisonville, it’s legacy no less important to the patients within her walls. Perhaps someday, we can learn to repurpose these remarkable structures and pay tribute to them in the history of Kentucky.

Work Contributed by: Hope M. Bryant and Shawn Logan 

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