Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for May, 2008

Worcester State Hospital Update

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Worcester State Hospital
Over the weekend I stopped off at Worcester State Hospital to check out the demolition work. There’s still a good portion of the wing standing, but I was surprised at how much is gone. Gage Hall (the non-freestanding rotunda) and the section I believe was named Lincoln are mostly rubble.

Oddly, the building seems much bigger with those pieces gone. I guess it has to do with how those parts blocked the view of the rest of the building from certain angles. Anyway, it won’t be long before the whole thing is gone. See it while you can. (more…)

Explore Clarinda! Well, sorta… maybe…

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Clarinda State HospitalThe museum in the former Clarinda State Hospital Kirkbride will be open to the public (without the need for an appointment) on Saturday, June 7th. It’ll be open as part of an Explore Clarinda Day sponsored by the city’s tourism committee.

I found out about this here: Explore Clarinda Allows Residents to See City Like Tourists. What’s not clear from the article is whether non-residents will be allowed to participate. If you don’t live in Clarinda and plan on going, you should probably call ahead just to be sure. You can always call to schedule a visit some other time too. The museum is well worth seeing. The city of Clarinda itself is a really pleasant place to visit as well. I recommend taking a trip there if you live in the general area.

Cherokee State Hospital

Monday, May 19th, 2008

I’ve added a page for Cherokee State Hospital. The photos date from the same trip in 2004 when I visited Clarinda and Independence. Like the other two Kirkbrides, the building at Cherokee is in great shape and the grounds are well kept, giving a good sense of what Kirkbride hospitals must have looked like back in the early days. Cherokee was a little different though in that much more of the Kirkbride is still fully used, not to mention the fact that one wing is now occupied by a prison. A tall fence topped with razor wire surrounds the prison wing, and really detracts from the building’s otherwise pleasant appearance. (more…)

Over 10,000 Sold (this Month)

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Stepping back from the subject of Kirkbrides a little, I just wanted to announce that passed a pretty significant milestone today. As of this morning, the site had 10,276 unique visitors this month. That may be chicken feed to popular sites getting ten times that many visitors a day, but considering’s average for the past few years has been around 5000 uniques a month, it’s pretty amazing.

In March the site crossed over the 7000 unique visitors mark for the first time, and then for a second time in April. But May has seen an even bigger increase and the site will likely get over 12,000 uniques by the end of the month. (more…)

Is it a Kirkbride?

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Asylum Projects forum member squad546 may have found yet another Kirkbride, but then again maybe not. This one’s in Austin, Texas and it’s a bit of a question mark. If you look at the satellite photo below (or better yet the aerials on the AP forum) you can see what I mean.

Pictured is the original Austin State Hospital building, constructed in the mid 1850s. After finding some old images of the place online (Picture 1, Picture 2) my assumption is that the building was probably planned as a Kirkbride, but for whatever reason it either wasn’t completed or it was decided from the start that there’d only be one wing. The historical pictures show it looking pretty much the same as it does now, except maybe the shorter “wing” and front portico were added some time after initial construction. I could be wrong, but I think it’s a solid hypothesis. More research will reveal if it matches the facts. (more…)

Even More Historical Photo Goodness

Friday, May 9th, 2008

As promised in my last post, here’s another collection of links to old photographs of Kirkbride asylums. There aren’t as many left for me to share as I thought. I really should have just thrown these in with the last bunch, but oh well… (more…)

More Historical Photo Goodness

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Fergus Falls State HospitalThings have been a little slow in the Kirkbride newsroom lately. Aside from last week’s excitement over the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, there haven’t been many new developments in the world of Kirkbrides—just some rehashing of the same old news.

So here’s a post about more old Kirkbride photos on the web that people might not be aware of. In a previous post on the same topic, I mentioned that I couldn’t find some photos of Worcester State Hospital which I had come across earlier in the American Memory Collection. I found them again fortunately. As stated before though, the quality isn’t so hot. Maybe the originals are good (it might be worth getting copies), but the electronic versions available on the web site aren’t. That said, here are the links. (more…)