Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 9, 1997):
The New York State Inebriate Asylum was constructed between 1858 and 1866 as the United States Inebriate Asylum, the first single-purpose hospital in the country designed and built for the treatment of alcoholism as a disease. The asylum was an outgrowth of a developing attitude in nineteenth century America that drunkenness was the cause of nearly all social and economic problems, and that its cure, i.e. temperance, would result in their eradication. Isaac Gale Perry designed the castellated Gothic Revival structure, which is now encompassed within a late nineteenth century health facility.