Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for March, 2009

Weston Restoration Work

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Lobby
Yesterday, forum member WSH posted some pictures of the restored first-floor hallway of the Weston admin. You can see them here. It’s a relatively small step toward restoring the building, but I’m sure it was still a good amount of work and it looks great.

In the News – March 16, 2009

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Here are a few recent items in the press concerning Kirkbride buildings…

1) RTC College Sets Sights on January 2010
According to this story, the cross-cultural Chinese business school destined to take over the former Fergus Falls Kirkbride may open by early next year.

2)  Renewed Efforts to Save Old Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris County
Morris County doesn’t want the Greystone Kirkbride, but they do want some of the land around it. Apparently the state government won’t have it. It’s all or nothing as far as they’re concerned.

3) UA Making Plans to Weather Storm
This article doesn’t go into much detail about the University of Alabama’s impending purchase of the Bryce Hospital campus, but it’s worth noting that the school still plans on making the acquisition in spite of the turbulent economic climate.

Speak of the Devil…

Friday, March 13th, 2009

The day after I posted about the new Saint Eizabeths Hospital page, the DC Preservation League announced a new tour for April 4th. Unfortunately the tour filled up quickly and this post is pretty much useless—except to inform you that you can sign up for the waiting list.

Maybe they’ll schedule a tour for another day if there’s enough interest. Signing up for the waiting list is the best way to be notified if that happens, and to show the League that there’s enough interest.

Saint Elizabeths Hospital

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

The Saint Elizabeths Hospital Center Building
I finally got around to adding a page for the Kirkbride building in Washington, DC: Saint Elizabeths Hospital. I was fortunate enough to get on the DC Preservation League’s tour of the West Campus this past December. Unfortunately, the sun was low on the horizon and behind the building. So the exterior pictures of the Kirkbride’s facade are a bit dark and flat. Oh well. The League may be putting together tours of the campus again this Spring. If I’m lucky I’ll get another chance to take pictures when there’s more light on the front of the building, and more greenery around too.

Even though the Saint Elizabeths Kirkbride isn’t on my list of favorites (I’d even go as far as saying it’s on the ugly side), the hospital campus itself is really beautiful. The view of Washington, DC alone is fantastic. But the variety of trees which fill out the grounds are also attractive and cast some amazing shadows. Then there’s the sense of history you feel when walking around all those old historic buildings on the outskirts of the nation’s capital.

If tours are given again this Spring, I really recommend signing up. There may not be many more chances to see this Kirkbride after the Department of Homeland Security starts transforming the West Campus into its new headquarters. Most likely, you won’t get to see the inside of the Kirkbride on the tour, but walking around the campus is interesting enough and won’t cost you anything either. If I hear anything about the tours, I’ll mention it here. So stay tuned.

Kirkbrides on Facebook

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
Over the last few months I’ve actually started using my Facebook profile and have to admit it’s pretty addictive. In case you’ve been living under a rock in a cave somewhere on Mars, Facebook is a social networking site that allows you to keep in touch and up-to-date with friends, family and other associates, as well as with your favorite bands, TV channels, companies, whatever.

It’s nice to see that Kirkbride buildings have a small presence on the site. There’s the Kirkbride buildings page, the Project Kirkbride group, an unofficial Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum group, and a really nice profile for The Village at Grand Traverse Commons (formerly Traverse City State Hospital) where you can find out about upcoming events and see some pictures of the goings-on there. If you’ve got your own Facebook profile, please become fans or join these groups to show your support.

I hope there’ll be more Kirkbride-related stuff on Facebook in the future. Seems like the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum should have an official profile/page, as well as The Richardson Olmsted Complex and Hudson Heritage Park.