Dr. J. Edward Turner
The New York State Inebriate Asylum resulted from the persistent work of Dr. Joseph Edward Turner (1822-1889), an institutional reformer whose career paralled that of Dorothea Dix, who was instrumental in forcing state governments to recognize their responsibility to the mentally ill. Her investigation of state facilities, which she reported in a Memorial to the Legislature of Massachussetts in 1843, enlisted allies to her cause and persuaded the legislature to improve conditions despite great resistance.
Turner, a native of Bath, Maine, and son of a farmer and shipbuilder, attended local schools before "reading" medicine with a Dr. Hale, a neighboring physician.
Isaac G. Perry
The inebriate asylum was the first major project designed and constructed by Isaac Gale Perry (1822-1904), a prolific New York State architect-builder. Born in Bennington, Vermont, Perry was raised and educated in Keeseville, New York, where his parents relocated in 1829. Between 1832 and 1854 he completed an apprenticeship and entered into partnership with his father, Seneca Perry, a shipwright turned carpenter. By 1847, Seneca Perry and Son were advertising locally as carpenter-joiners who undertook masonry work. The Perrys were well known for their skills at constructing spiral staircases, and the younger Perry, according to one biographer, earned a local reputation