Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for July, 2008


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

So yesterday got a link in an Associated Press article which was picked up by all kinds of news sites including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Fox News. Needless to say, this resulted in HUGE traffic, even bigger than the last traffic spike in May. While I’m ecstatic about the exposure, my rickety old hosting service couldn’t take the heat and clocked out at about 11PM EST when my monthly bandwidth quota was exceeded. (more…)

Hudson Redevelopment News

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Hudson River State HospitalAccording to the Poughkeepsie Journal, redevelopment plans for the former Hudson River State Hospital campus are moving forward: 750 Housing Units Are Planned. In addition to the 750 housing units, developers Hudson Heritage and the Community Preservation Corporation want to create 350,000 square feet of commercial space, most of which would be for retail purposes. (more…)

The Buffalo Topeka Connection

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Topeka State Insane AsylumI got an email last week informing me that my list of Kirkbrides was incomplete because the asylum in Osawatomie, Kansas wasn’t included. While I’m still not 100% sure there was a Kirkbride there, I trust this person‘s opinion and went looking (again) for whatever evidence I could find.

During my search I did find something promising related to the Osawatomie asylum, but the thing I found really exciting was something else entirely that I stumbled upon by happy accident. I’m sure only the most geeky of asylum architecture enthusiasts will find this interesting, so if you’re not one of those, please disregard this post. If you are an asylum architecture nerd, then read on… (more…)

BSH: The View from the Street

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Source: Google Maps

I’ve been waiting for more Kirkbrides to show up in Google Maps‘ Street View feature since the Worcester Kirkbride appeared a few months ago. While putting together a separate post involving Buffalo State Hospital, I happily discovered that the Buffalo Kirkbride is now featured. If you’ve never been, take a look around.

Bryce Hospital Landmark Intrigue

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Bryce HospitalThere’s a story on about efforts to get Bryce Hospital designated a national historic landmark: Panel Urges Landmark Protection for Bryce. The application for landmark status has to be made within a month, but much like that fickle girlfriend or boyfriend we’ve all had at one time in our lives, the University of Alabama wants to keep its options open. So far it has opposed the landmark application. The school plans to purchase the Bryce Hospital property when the hospital moves in a year or so, and seems to believe that landmark status will somehow “hurt the university if it owned the building.” (more…)

End of an Era

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Greystone Park Insane AsylumFinally: the new Greystone Park facility has truly opened. Patients moved to their new residence yesterday, marking a major event in the hospital’s long history. According to all reports I’ve read, the new building is a much nicer place and I’m sure the patients and staff will be much happier there. (more…)

Fergus Falls Film

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Fergus Falls State HospitalThe Fergus Falls State Hospital Kirkbride building may become the setting for a movie. According to the Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Twin Cities filmmaker Dav Kaufman is working on a new film and has the RTC specifically in mind as its location: Filmmaker Has RTC in Sight.

Session 9 did a lot to introduce Danvers State Hospital to the world. While it sounds like this movie will be a low budget affair, there’s a chance it’ll become something of a cult favorite like Session 9, and could bring the RTC some broader, national exposure if it gets made. Hopefully it will and the quality of the film will be relatively high with the building used to good effect.

Even More Kirkbride Buildings

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Missouri State Lunatic AsylumAs explained a while back in this post, it’s my goal to post pages with pictures and history of each demolished Kirkbride building that I never got a chance to visit. I’ve recently posted a few more, including Spring Grove State Hospital (Maryland), Fulton State Hospital (Missouri), Jacksonville State Hospital (Illinois), Kalamazoo State Hospital (Michigan), Winnebago State Hospital (you guessed it: Wisconsin), and Pontiac State Hospital (Michigan).

Some of the less boring facts gleaned during my research involve the asylums in Jacksonville and Fulton. At Jacksonville, in 1860 a lady named Elizabeth Packard was involuntarily committed for three years. Her husband sent her to the asylum after she began disagreeing with his religious beliefs. On her release, she separated from her husband, formed the Anti-Insane Asylum Society, and successfully petitioned the Illinois legislature to grant wives the right to a public hearing if their husbands tried to have them committed. She also wrote a few books about her asylum experience (one of which can be read online here). (more…)

No Stigma for Us, Thank You

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Greystone Park State Lunatic AsylumIn yet another example of people distancing themselves from asylum history, the new park in Morris County (made up of 300 acres from the former grounds of Greystone Park State Hospital) will be named Central Park. This fresh and exciting new name was deliberately chosen to avoid stigma related to the hospital’s past. As reports:

By a 6-1 tally, the freeholders broke from the tract’s history and voted to name the new venue Central Park of Morris County. (more…)

Dayton Kirkbride Photos

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

LiveJournal user laurapalmer813 posted some photos of the Kirkbride building in Dayton, Ohio today. (This is the Kirkbride that’s been turned into a retirement home.) If you’re interested, check out the photos. The building looks pretty good, maybe a little boring since it’s lost some ornamentation, but still pretty good. Looks like it’ll be around for a good long while.