Although mean Nurse Ratched was pure fiction, the Oregon State Hospital has struggled with some very real troubles over the years, including overcrowding, crumbling floors and ceilings, outbreaks of scabies and stomach flu, sexual abuse of children by staff members, and patient-on-patient assaults.
Politicians had been talking for years about the need to replace the hospital, but didn't get serious about it until a group of legislators made a grim discovery during a 2004 tour: the cremated remains of 3,600 mental patients in corroding copper canisters in a storage room. The lawmakers were stunned.
"Nobody said anything to anybody," said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, who dubbed the chamber "the room of lost souls."
The remains belonged to patients who died at the hospital from the late 1880s to the mid-1970s, when mental illness was considered so shameful that many patients were all but abandoned by their families in institutions.
Oregan State Mental Hospital being torn down
The mental hospital that was used to film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is being torn down: