Kirkbride Buildings Blog

November 14th, 2011

Bryce Kirkbride to House Museum?

Bryce Hospital Kirkbride Building
The Bryce Hospital Kirkbride will likely become home to a museum once the University of Alabama takes control of the building. You can read about it in the¬†university’s student-run newspaper, The Crimson White: UA Releases New Campus Master Plan. Their article states:

“By terms of the purchase agreement between the Department of Mental Health and the University of Alabama, there is going to be a mental health museum located in the Bryce Hospital building,” [said Darrell Meyer of KPS Group, the architectural firm helping UA with the campus master plan]. “We realized that we don’t have a University history museum. I think we really need one of those.”

In addition to building a University history museum, Meyer also spoke of plans for museums for mental health, natural history, Jones art collection, and special collections.

It’s not very clear the way it’s written, but I’m pretty certain the mental health museum is a sure thing, and the university history and other museums are just possibilities. Hopefully though, the prospect of several museums means it’s more likely the entire building will be preserved. It’d be great to have another fully intact Kirkbride that’s accessible to the general public.

UPDATE: This article: Bryce May Become Cultural Arts Center, adds that the Kirkbride would also house spaces for the performing arts as well as for a museum or museums.

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  1. WSH November 15, 2011, 10:10 am

    Cool story, hopefully this is yet another Kirkbride that might survive.

    Although I do have to wonder what the rest of the building will comprise of. They obvious aren’t going to use the WHOLE thing for a museum.

  2. Ethan November 15, 2011, 10:23 pm

    If there are a few different museums though, they might take up enough space to make saving the whole building worthwhile — especially if some of it’s used for storage. There’s always a good chance the school would use parts of the building for other purposes too. That’s just speculation though. It is a lot of space to fill.

  3. Judy Ponio September 9, 2012, 12:08 am

    The cultural arts center would be a great Idea. My Mother as she stated to us was able to live at Bryce and learn to draw and paint. Her mother was the patient. Have you heard of children living within the hospital that were related to patients? My Mothers name was Christine Ritter born 1924 and Grandmother was Mary Refugia-Silvas-Ritter Died at Bryce in 1930. She had 4 children and one born in the facility.

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