Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for May, 2010

Traverse City Tunnels

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Here’s a short piece about the tunnels under the former Traverse City State Hospital‘s Building 50: The Tunnels Underneath Building 50. It’s from a segment called Jack’s Journal by reporter Jack O’Mally of Michigan’s 9&10 News. It’s only mildly interesting if you’re at all knowledgeable about Kirkbride tunnels, but if you’re not or you want to hear developer Ray Minervini’s thoughts on the tunnels and what might be done with them, check it out.

Topeka Admin’s Days Numbered

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Topeka State Hospital
According to an article in the Topeka Capital Journal, demolition of the admin building at the former Topeka State Hospital (all that remains of its Kirkbride building) is scheduled to begin on or before June 1st. The building is only being torn down because of its dilapidated condition. There are no plans for using the space on which it currently stands. Read the article here: End Nears for TSH Building.

Hidden Columbia on South Carolina State Hospital

Friday, May 7th, 2010

South Carolina State Hospital Video Screenshot
Hidden Columbia, a local news segment on ABC’s Columbia, SC affiliate, recently put together a report on the history of South Carolina State Hospital. It’s a reasonably in-depth look at the hospital’s story with a few surprising details among the typical, to-be-expected facts. You can view all five currently released parts online by following the links below. I’m not sure if there are more parts coming in the future, but I’ll add the links here if they do.

Hidden Columbia
Unfortunately, these videos are no longer available online.

  1. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 1
  2. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 2
  3. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 3
  4. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 4
  5. The State Carolina State Hospital Part 5

Watching these, I’m especially struck by how much the history of these hospitals all followed the same trajectory: a founding with much fanfare and optimism, early success giving way to hard times and overcrowding, then reform and a long slow decline terminated by closure or radical down-sizing.