The central two thirds of the front of the building, from "The Siggins Album," circa 1900. End to end, the front of the building spanned 700 feet. (Courtesy of the Local History Room of The Kalamazoo Public Library.)
The same view today. The building is the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services.
Construction began in 1854, and the structure was built in stages until totally complete in September of 1869. Patients were admitted to the completed portions beginning in 1859. Work was slowed by multiple factors: A State legislature that pieced out funding a year at a time; an arsonist's fire that significantly damaged the central section while under construction; and the Civil War.
The floor plan above (and its handwritten notes) suggest that it represents a moment in the middle of the 15 year construction process. The north section (righthand) was built after the south section – but it was built according to plan. On the other hand, I can find no evidence that the infirmary section on the south end (in the back, labelled "not completed" on the floor plan above) was ever built. It does not appear in any photographs.
The south end circa 1900, looking north from the water tower, chapel in lower right. Compare the back corner (left) to the previous 1939 photo of the same corner. An entire floor appears to have been added. (From "Images of America: Kalamazoo, Michigan" (Arcadia Pub., 2002))
The south end, looking north from the water tower, power plant in lower left. Also a detail of the back section. (From "The Siggins Album," courtesy of the Local History Room of The Kalamazoo Public Library.)
Here is a comparison of the footprints of the Female Department (1950s) and WMU's College of Health and Human Services building (2012). To orient yourself: In both photos, the same neighboring buildings are visible on the left edge and in the top left corner (the three section, zig-zag building). Also look for Oakland Drive at the bottom and the gate house (cottage) in the lower right corner of each.