Photo: Babcock Corridor

In 1828, the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum admitted its first patient, but the Babcock Building (shown here) wasn't constructed until almost thirty years later. It was built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style and completed in 1885. At the time, it was only the third asylum constructed in the United States, but it was not the first evidence of treatment for the mentally ill in the state.  

In the late 1600's, the Lord Proprietors of the Carolinas agreed that the mentally ill should be cared for by the local government. At that time, many had been jailed, abused, or chained down. Seventy years later, an asylum was established in Charleston by the Fellowship, but it took another fifty years for the state government to fund the construction of the asylum.