Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for August, 2009

Myths & Legends of Fergus Falls State Hospital

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Fergus Falls State Hospital
The Otter Tail County Historical Society in Minnesota will be hosting an event titled Myths and Legends: Stories from the Fergus Falls State Hospital. It will be held on the grounds of the abandoned facility at 5:30PM on September 4th, September 18th and October 16th. The event coincides with an exhibit at the historical society’s museum also titled Myths and Legends which deals with lore from the entire county, but includes stories and equipment from the state hospital. Attending the event will cost $5. More information is available here and here.

More on House and Greystone

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital Set
A little over a month ago I wrote about a promo for the television series House and how it contained footage of the Greystone Kirkbride‘s interior. However, more than one person told me that there was no sign of the show filming inside the interior. I can now confirm they were correct since Fox released a video about building sets for the interior of their fictional Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. You can watch the video at Better check it out soon because the video will probably be replaced eventually.

It’s amazing how much detail and work went into the show’s effort to reproduce the look of Greystone. I still don’t understand why they didn’t just use the hospital itself. Seems like they could have spiffed up a few areas for a lot less work than it took to build these sets.

The Danvers Opening

Monday, August 24th, 2009

The Danvers OpeningSince I’m a Kirkbride enthusiast and an amateur chess player (quite a sexy combo, eh?), you’d think I would have found out about this a long time ago… there’s a chess opening named for Danvers State Hospital! For those of you who aren’t familiar with chess, an opening is the first few moves of a game. Sequences of opening moves which follow a recognized pattern are usually given names (eg. Two Knights Defence, King’s Gambit or Bishop’s Opening). The Danvers Opening (or Danvers Attack) is illustrated in the diagram at left. The moves are… 1. e4 e5, 2. Qh5

Even though this sequence of moves does go by other names (such as Queen’s Attack, the Kentucky Opening, the Patzer Opening and Parham’s Opening among others), it got its Danvers-related moniker when it was used by Dr. Elmer E. Southard in the years 1906 through 1909 when he was assistant physician and pathologist at Danvers State Hospital.

Guess what opening I’m going to try next time I play chess?

Traverse City Gate Stolen

Friday, August 21st, 2009

The beautiful gate behind Building 50 at the former Traverse City State Hospital has been stolen. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the gate, please call The Village at Grand Traverse Commons at (+1) 231.941.1900.

Update: Information leading to the safe recovery and return of the gate will be rewarded with an overnight stay in a furnished Village condo plus a full guided tour.

Kirkbride Prints For Sale

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Kirkbride Building Prints for Sale
August has proven to be a pretty quiet month for Kirkbride buildings news. Hopefully those of you in the northern hemishpere are too busy getting in some summer fun to notice. So I’m taking this opportunity to quietly (but still shamelessly) announce that I’m going to try selling prints of my Kirkbride photos from the site. You can view the available photographs on the new prints page.

Prints are available in 8×10 and 11×14 sizes. I may make even larger prints available in the future. If there’s actually any interest in this, I’ll be adding more photos to choose from as time goes on. And if you’d like a particular photo on the site as a print and it isn’t yet listed on the prints page, please feel free to ask if I can make a print of it for you. I’ve chosen what I think are among the stronger pictures I’ve taken, but it’s always good to hear what people are really interested in.