Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for February, 2010

City of the Sick

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


A few days ago, psychiatrist Dr. William J. Resch emailed me about this film featuring Columbus State Hospital. “City of the Sick” is a documentary about CSH (and to some extent all psychiatric hositals) narrated by a fictional hospital attendant. Judging by the film’s look and feel, it was produced some time in the late 1940s or early 1950s. In spite of its quaint mid-20th century style, it’s worth watching for the footage of the Kirkbride building and the insights regarding life inside the hospital. I’m sure the latter were at least a little whitewashed, but I wouldn’t fault the film’s producers for that since part of their purpose was to minimize the stigma attached to mental illness and state hospitals.

Dr. Resch received a copy of the film when he spent part of his Ohio State University residency working at Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare in Columbus (CSH’s replacement and sister hospital to the former Twin Valley psychiatric center in Dayton). He just recently put this digitized version online. The second half can be seen here: City of the Sick – Part II.

The Lost Kirkbrides: Brooklyn State Hospital

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Brooklyn State Hospital
Kirkbride connoisseur Ian Ference has put another notch in his found-a-kirkbride-building-no-one-knew-about belt. What’s especially exciting is that, just like the last lost Kirkbride he discovered, this Kirkbride was located in New York City — in Brooklyn to be exact. Brooklyn State Hospital was created to serve the Kings County region of New York. I’m not 100% sure of this, but other names for the hospital include Flatbush Insane Asylum, Kings County Lunatic Asylum and Long Island State Hospital. It’s now known as Kingsboro Psychiatric Center. It was originally a county hospital, but the state took it over in 1895. (more…)

Warren State Hospital Tour

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Warren State Hospital Main Building
Forum member Jenca mentioned there’s going to be an historic walking tour of the Warren State Hospital grounds this Spring. It’ll take place on Wednesday, April 14th from 1PM to 3PM. The tour is offered by the Warren Forest Higher Education Council and is open to the public. The tour will not enter any hospital buildings. Participating will cost $10 per person. You will have to contact Warren Forest Higher Education to register which can be done by phone or by mail. Here are some details…

Historical Walking Tour of Warren State Hospital
CRN: 4513, 2-hours, April 14, Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Cost: $10
Warren State Hospital has been an integral part of the community for decades, yet very few of us know the history and significance of this institution. Enjoy a guided tour of the grounds along with rare photos depicting its history and treatment options for patients. Lecture will meet at Hi-Ed located on the Warren State Hospital Grounds. Call 1-814-723-3222 for more information.