Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for February, 2013

Abandoned Asylums of New England

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Abandoned Asylums of New England

John Gray is publishing a new edition of his Abandoned Asylums of New England photography book. The original version was self-published and came out a little over ten years ago. This new hardcover version is 220 pages and includes lots more high-quality photos in both black and white and color. It’s being published in connection with the Museum of disABILITY History who provides the text. From the publisher:

“Abandoned Asylums of New England offers the work of photographer John Gray, who has captured the final throes of the once majestic monuments of medical treatment. This photographic journey into the world of urban exploration documents the state of some of New England’s storied temples of control, treatment, and rehabilitation of individuals with disabling conditions. The Museum of disABILITY History provides a historical context for these asylums that heightens the degree of entropy into which these feats of architectural grandeur have fallen. From the gigantic Kirkbride campuses to the airy tuberculosis hospitals, Gray’s photography reveals through its compositions the poignant echoes of the lives lived, and sometimes lost, at these disappearing asylums.”

Abandoned Asylums of New England should eventually be available for purchase on the museum’s website, but to order a copy right now, you have to send an email to And to keep up-to-date with news about the book, like the Abandoned Asylums of New England Facebook page.

Help Save the Athens Kirkbride

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Plans for Athens Kirkbride

Please help the Athens County Historical Society and Museum save the Athens Kirkbride by signing this online petition.

Ohio University (current owner of the former Athens State Hospital site now known as The Ridges) is set to tear down an historic building at the site next month. Read more about it here: Ridges TB Ward to Be Razed Next Month Despite Historical Society Efforts to Save It. Although the structure being demolished isn’t the Kirkbride, the article also mentions the university’s plans to tear down most of the Kirkbride building’s wings in the future. See this diagram for what will be destroyed: Plans for The Ridges.

The Athens County Historical Society and Museum is trying to get the school to preserve the remaining buildings at The Ridges, including the Kirkbride. To help them, please sign the online petition. Also please consider contacting the university’s president and board of trustees directly.

Sign the Petition

Restore and Maintain Athens Asylum Buildings for Posterity »

Contact the President and Board of Trustees

Ohio University Office of President (contact info at bottom of page)

Ohio University  Board of Trustees (contact info at bottom of page)