Photo: The only remaining portion of the original complex of the Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital - later Middletown State Hospital - is the violent ward, stripped of its original roof, and suffering from heavy collapse, but still relatively intact. This 3" diameter window would be the only view a patient locked inside the seclusion room would have of life on the ward - and wasn't actually there for their benefit, but for that of the orderlies who would check in on the patients on a regular schedule. Sadly, since this photograph was taken, the building has suffered a large amount of vandalism and graffiti. None of these original windows remain.
Photo: 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.
Photo: The 1828 administrative building of Western State Hospital in Staunton, VA, is a National Historic Landmark sitting in a Landmark District. Constructed in the colonial style, the building was heavily modified over the years, as the asylum went through periods of budget shortfall, was abandoned, and then converted into a prison campus. Nevertheless, much of the original detail remains, and nothing more striking than this all-wood original spiral staircase, still quite sturdy after nearly two centuries.
Photo: #TuesDecay

The children's preventorium at Mont Alto Sanatorium - a building designed to contain and treat children who had been exposed to tuberculosis but were not yet symptomatic - has had a fascinating history. It only functioned in its intended capacity for about 25 years; later on, it became an insane asylum for women, a custodial asylum for mentally handicapped women, and finally a geriatric care facility for wards of the state. In 1986 it was finally abandoned. Mont Alto was the first public sanatorium in Pennsylvania, and while none of the original buildings remain - all were outmoded by the middle of the 20th century - many later additions still exist, including this disused building. Pictured here is the lobby and reception area, which includes three ornate insets in the floor - the seal of the Commonwealth, flanked on either side by the state birds.
Photo: Good friends, good staircase, good moon!

So I just returned from a roadtrip with comrade-in-arms +Amy Heiden and new friend +Todd Sipes; we rocked 4 locations over 3 days.  One of them was another trip to Hudson River State Hospital - the location I was initially least excited about, having been there dozens of times over the years.  But when it came time to shoot Blue Hour, I knew right where I wanted to be - on the grand curved stairwell in the Administrative section of the Kirkbride asylum.  When I finally got into position in this corner, civil twilight was already waning, and by the time I got the shot composed, almost over - but I noticed something.  The waxing gibbous moon, almost full, was shining in and hitting the wall to the left.  Lacking time to meter the situation, I just guessed - ISO 200, f/9, 15 minutes on Bulb.  And then, right at the end of the exposure, two people - possibly scrappers - walked right past the door on the landing beneath this one!  I quickly packed up, leaving Long Exposure Noise Reduction running, and we booked it out of there.  It wasn't until I got back to the car that I saw what I'd gotten - and all of a sudden, was very, very glad we'd gone to Hudson that evening!
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Ian Ference
Public
The only remaining portion of the original complex of the Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital - later Middletown State Hospital - is the violent ward, stripped of its original roof, and suffering from heavy collapse, but still relatively intact. This 3" diameter window would be the only view a patient locked inside the seclusion room would have of life on the ward - and wasn't actually there for their benefit, but for that of the orderlies who would check in on the patients on a regular schedule. Sadly, since this photograph was taken, the building has suffered a large amount of vandalism and graffiti. None of these original windows remain.
38 plus ones
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