Kirkbride Buildings Blog

December 6th, 2015

Worcester Clocktower Replica Complete

Worcester State Hospital Clocktower Replica

I swung by Worcester State Hospital this weekend as I was in the area and I had read the clock tower replica had finally been completed. You can read more about that here: Rebuilt clock tower welcomed on hospital campus in Worcester. Note that there’ll be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10AM on Thursday, December 10, 2015.

There’s still a chainlink fence around the tower right now so you can’t get very close. I took a few pictures from a distance with my phone. You can’t make it out in the pictures unfortunately, but it looks like there’s a spiral staircase in the center of the structure. There are metal gates protecting the entrances at the base of the tower though. I’m guessing those will remain closed and locked. It’d be nice if the public could climb to the top at will, but that’s probably asking too much, especially as the tower is on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital.

Overall I think it looks good. It’s obviously not exactly like the old tower, and it’s not an adequate replacement for the Kirkbride, or even the just admin. It’s a fairly accurate replica of the tower though and (a little bit) better than nothing. Even though it’s somewhat disappointing and odd, I’ll probably visit it from time to time for a reminder of what used to be.



Worcester State Hospital Clocktower Replica

May 12th, 2015

May 13: Preserve Greystone Court Hearing

The New Jersey State Hospital

On Wednesday, May 13th, Preserve Greystone will be making their case in court for halting demolition of the Greystone Kirkbride. This may be the last chance for stopping the ongoing destruction of this historic building. If you live within driving distance and can get the time off from work/school/whatever, please attend the hearing to show support for preserving the Kirkbride. The more people attending the hearing, the better.

The hearing will be located at 56 Washington Street, Morristown, NJ 07960. Preserve Greystone will have volunteers available to direct you to the correct courtroom. Metered street parking is available. The closest parking garage is the John D. Dalton Parking Garage at the corner of Catano Avenue and Washington Street.

Supporters can gather at 2 p.m. on the The Green in Morristown to get “Preserve Greystone” buttons to wear to the hearing. More details can be found on their facebook page.

April 30th, 2015

Preservationworks Press Release

Preservationworks has issued a press release summarizing their conference held this past weekend. The conference brought together many leaders in Kirkbride building preservation efforts. It sounds like there was some good discussion (sadly, I couldn’t attend).

It’s heartening to see a summit of like-minded preservationists. Knowledge sharing like this can only help the cause.

Read the Press Release.

April 5th, 2015

Greystone Developments April 2015

Greystone Park Kirkbride Building

Abatement of the Greystone Kirkbride in New Jersey appears to be nearing completion, and actual demolition could begin as early as this month. Preserve Greystone is planning a rally at the Kirkbride on Sunday, April 12th. More information is available at the #Rally4Greystone event page on Facebook. Please attend the rally if you can. It’s important to show strong support for preserving the building. Even though the demolition process is in motion, Preserve Greystone is still fighting to halt it, and they can use all the support they can get from like-minded preservationists.

On April 3rd, the New York Times published an article on this story: Preservationists Fight to Save a Former Asylum in New Jersey. It’s fantastic such a widely-read media outlet wrote about what’s going on. I hope it makes a difference in Greystone’s fate, but also that it contributes to more consideration being given to saving other Kirkbride buildings.

Preserve Greystone has posted an appeal on Facebook for all parties interested in saving the Kirkbride. I’ve reproduced the text of that post below. Please attend the Freeholder meeting if possible. And please at the very least sign the online petition.

Two ways to voice your opinions in person or through petition to the County. Either attend this week’s Freeholder’s Meeting along with members of Preserve Greystone’s board, or sign our online petition. Please, mail and/or scan and email any physical petitions you may have in your possession that have not been sent to Preserve Greystone.

Freeholder’s Meeting Details
When: Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 7:30pm
Where: Administration & Records Building
Court Street, Morristown 07960
We will be presenting the physical petition and all the online signatures and stories from the online petition at this meeting.

March 27th, 2015

Preserve Greystone Town Hall Meeting

Preserve Greystone Town Hall Meeting

Preserve Greystone is holding a town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00PM. The meeting will be held at Morristown Town Hall, Senior Center, 3rd Floor in Morristown, New Jersey. Please attend if possible to show support for saving the Greystone Park Kirkbride building.

Topics to be discussed include details on the group’s fundraising campaign and their need for more volunteers to help in their effort to preserve the Kirkbride. More details are available on the Preserve Greystone Town Hall Meeting flyer.

If you can’t attend, please visit the Preserve Greystone support web page for other ways you can be a part of the mission to save this unique, irreplaceable part of American history.

February 3rd, 2015

Parts of Bryce Hospital Kirkbride Being Demolished

Bryce Hospital Kirkbride

I knew something like this was coming, but that doesn’t make me any less sad and disappointed. Parts of the historic Bryce Hospital Kirkbride building are now being demolished. You can read all about it on Part of Former Bryce Hospital Being Demolished

December 30th, 2014

There’s Still Time: Save Fergus Falls

There’s still a long way to go to cover the funding gap for Fergus Falls, and not much time to do so either — only a day or so left. I’m starting to sweat like Jerry Lewis at the end of a telethon…

If you’ve ever considered donating but put it off for later, please do it now.

If you can only afford to give $5 or $10, please do. Every little bit helps.

I apologize for the negativity, but I feel compelled to admit I’m depressed by the lack of response to this fundraiser. In spite of what seems to have been a pretty active campaign to get the word out, not much money has been donated. There’s been talk of the deadline being extended, but I don’t know how likely that is if there’s not a substantial amount donated by the end of the year. I don’t know what the current total is unfortunately, but judging by the GoFundMe page, it’s not very significant.

So please, donate now. Please share the GoFundMe link and ask others to donate now. Otherwise, get ready to say goodbye to yet another Kirkbride.

To those who have already donated, either online or by sending a check directly, and to those who have encouraged others to donate, to Historic Kirkbride LLC, and to Gene and Maxine and all the other Friends of the Kirkbride who have worked hard to get things to this point: THANK YOU! I sincerely wish there were more people like you.

November 26th, 2014

New Book About Northampton State Hospital

Northampton State Hospital

I’m a little behind on this, sorry, but there’s a new book out about Northampton State Hospital. Co-authored by Anna Schuleit and J. Michael Moore, Northampton State Hospital is part of Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series and contains 128 pages full of historic images of the hospital—including many of its beautiful Kirkbride building. You can read a bit about the book’s backstory in this article: Northampton State Hospital’s History Shared in Images.

November 5th, 2014

Help Save the Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building

Fergus Falls Kirkbride

The Friends of the Kirkbride are trying to raise $700,000 to cover a funding for redevelopment of the Fergus Falls Kirkbride. Read more about the story here: Fergus Falls Citizens Group to Raise $700K to Save Kirkbride.

Please consider making a donation. Any amount you can afford will help. The full $700K must be raised by December 31st. There are two ways to donate…

Send a Check

Otter Tail County Historical Society
1110 W. Lincoln Ave.
Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Make checks payable to: Otter Tail County Historical Society
Memo: Kirkbride

Donate Online

Visit this GoFundMe page.

April 7th, 2014

Bryce Wing to be Demolished

Bryce Hospital Kirkbride

I had been hoping that when the University of Alabama took over the Bryce Hospital campus that they would preserve the entire Kirkbride building there. Unfortunately, they’re planning on tearing down at least one wing to make room for a new performing arts center. Read more about it here: University of Alabama to Build New State of the Art Performing Arts Center on Bryce Hospital Grounds

This news is especially depressing, coming as it does on the heels of the news that New Jersey is moving forward with demolishing the Greystone Kirkbride. Speaking of Greystone, please still consider supporting Preserve Greystone’s continuing efforts to save Greystone. While the Kirkbride is still standing, there is hope it can be saved. And if I learn of any ways to help prevent Bryce’s wing from being torn down, I will post about them here and on Facebook.

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