Cochran House was not built into the original circular hospital plan. It is a massive three-story brick structure with its entrance facing away from the rest of the hospital buildings. Overall, Cochran is a plain building with minimal architectural detail and a flat roof. The main entrance faces the public street in a residential neighborhood. Built in 1956, it was designed as a modern hospital building with twelve wards, each wing with treatment rooms for hydrotherapy, electric shock therapy, and psychotherapy.
The center of the building contained x-ray rooms, offices, a medical library, and facilities for the Department of Nursing Education as well as its own kitchen. Because of the modern facilities and the patients no mingling with other patients at the hospital it gained the nickname of 'Snob Hill.'
According to local reports, Cochran House was named in honor of one Mrs. Alice Ross Cochran, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. One former friend and colleague remarked, "Mrs. Cochran was interested in the patients and the treatments that were used. She frequently made rounds, talking with both staff and patients." During the Grand Opening Ceremony held in 1956, a presentation of a portrait of Mrs. Alice Russ Cochran was said to have taken place by a group of her friends and associates as a tribute to her leadership in advancing the care and treatment of the mentally ill.