In designing Buffalo State Hospital - or, at the time, the New York State Asylum for the Insane at Buffalo - H. H. Richardson relied heavily on the writings of Thomas Story Kirkbride and the advice of Utica State Hospital administrator John P. Gray. Both stressed the need for adequate fireproofing within the building, as well as for limited access between wards. To these ends, Richardson designed the connector hallways in between the different ward pavilions with a curve dramatic enough that the halls would be useless for storage. This proved to be a visionary design move; by the 1910s, the hospital was so overcrowded that even the attic was packed with patients - and yet, no beds could be placed in these hallways, which had a heavy fireproof door at either end. The two doors would also limit access to those members of the staff with a reason to move between pavilions - patients and orderlies could not move about the complex freely.
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