State Narcotic Hospital Spadra Improvements – Pomona CA


The State Narcotic Hospital Spadra was a once separate program within the grounds of what is known today as the Lanterman Developmental Center in Pomona, CA. No records exist since the unincorporated area known as Spadra was annexed into the City of Pomona.

3 different New Deal relief agencies were involved in reconstruction efforts at this mental health facility. WPA #1E B20 810, CWA SLF #61, & SERA#S1 B1 174. Records at the Pasadena Museum of History describe New Deal work at the site:

“This (WPA) project was opened January 11, 1935 and was suspended May 2, 1935 at the request of the Applicant pending legislation.

The work completed consisted of painting buildings, levelling and grading grounds, walks and drives, planting and transplanting trees and shrubs.

The work remaining to be done is the demolition of a barracks building 100′ x 36′ x 20′, and transporting such material and equipment as can be salvaged to the Pacific Colony.”

Photo’s available at the Pasadena Museum of History depict workers planting Ice plants for erosion, painting a water tank, the extension of a culvert under a road way, and landscaping.

Hospital history: In 1915 the California Legislature called for a comprehensive study of the problem of feeble mindedness. As a result of this study, the Legislature recognized the need for an institution in Southern California and approved $250,000 on July 17, 1917, for the Pacific Colony. The original site was in Walnut at the location of the current Mt. San Antonio College at 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA.
On March 20, 1921, the first patients were admitted to Pacific Colony. The site was inappropriate (lack of water, limited access) and the facility closed its doors on January 23, 1923. A new facility was opened at the current location May 2, 1927. The name was changed to Pacific State Hospital in 1953 with the change in methods of treatment and attitudes toward the mentally handicapped that started in the 1930’s. The name was changed again in 1979 to Frank D. Lanterman State Hospital and Developmental Center in honor of State Assemblyman Frank D. Lanterman and his work on behalf of the civil rights of developmentally disabled people. ‘State Hospital’ was dropped from the name in the 1980’s.

Source notes

Pasadena Museum of History.
Photo album of a former New Deal official.
A former long term Lanterman employee.
Images of Walnut by the City of Walnut and the Walnut Historical Society

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on February 4, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

3530 Pomona Blvd.
Pomona, CA 91769-0100

Coordinates: 34.0464136, -117.8105668

4 comments on “State Narcotic Hospital Spadra Improvements – Pomona CA

  1. Kevin Bash

    Do you have anything on Spadra’s use as a Naval hospital?

    • Gabriel Milner

      We do not, but perhaps one of the sources listed in this posted has more info. Good luck!

  2. Deborah Pruden

    I just found the intake paperwork for my uncle in 1934. He would have been 12.

  3. I worked at Lattermen state hospital
    I volunteered during summer months to get credits I worked my ass off there by first making beds
    Then I worked with the small children
    #1 Feeding #2 washing all bedding
    #3 take them outside for a swing or just to lay

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note:

  • Comments allow viewers to share information with others or alert us to errors or changes in a New Deal site.
  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click below.


We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.