Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for the 'In the News' Category

Preservationworks Press Release

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Preservationworks has issued a press release summarizing their conference held this past weekend. The conference brought together many leaders in Kirkbride building preservation efforts. It sounds like there was some good discussion (sadly, I couldn’t attend).

It’s heartening to see a summit of like-minded preservationists. Knowledge sharing like this can only help the cause.

Read the Press Release.

Greystone Developments April 2015

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Greystone Park Kirkbride Building

Abatement of the Greystone Kirkbride in New Jersey appears to be nearing completion, and actual demolition could begin as early as this month. Preserve Greystone is planning a rally at the Kirkbride on Sunday, April 12th. More information is available at the #Rally4Greystone event page on Facebook. Please attend the rally if you can. It’s important to show strong support for preserving the building. Even though the demolition process is in motion, Preserve Greystone is still fighting to halt it, and they can use all the support they can get from like-minded preservationists.

On April 3rd, the New York Times published an article on this story: Preservationists Fight to Save a Former Asylum in New Jersey. It’s fantastic such a widely-read media outlet wrote about what’s going on. I hope it makes a difference in Greystone’s fate, but also that it contributes to more consideration being given to saving other Kirkbride buildings.

Preserve Greystone has posted an appeal on Facebook for all parties interested in saving the Kirkbride. I’ve reproduced the text of that post below. Please attend the Freeholder meeting if possible. And please at the very least sign the online petition.

Two ways to voice your opinions in person or through petition to the County. Either attend this week’s Freeholder’s Meeting along with members of Preserve Greystone’s board, or sign our online petition. Please, mail and/or scan and email any physical petitions you may have in your possession that have not been sent to Preserve Greystone.

Freeholder’s Meeting Details
When: Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 7:30pm
Where: Administration & Records Building
Court Street, Morristown 07960
We will be presenting the physical petition and all the online signatures and stories from the online petition at this meeting.

Parts of Bryce Hospital Kirkbride Being Demolished

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Bryce Hospital Kirkbride

I knew something like this was coming, but that doesn’t make me any less sad and disappointed. Parts of the historic Bryce Hospital Kirkbride building are now being demolished. You can read all about it on TuscaloosaNews.com: Part of Former Bryce Hospital Being Demolished

Help Save the Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Fergus Falls Kirkbride

The Friends of the Kirkbride are trying to raise $700,000 to cover a funding for redevelopment of the Fergus Falls Kirkbride. Read more about the story here: Fergus Falls Citizens Group to Raise $700K to Save Kirkbride.

Please consider making a donation. Any amount you can afford will help. The full $700K must be raised by December 31st. There are two ways to donate…

Send a Check

Otter Tail County Historical Society
1110 W. Lincoln Ave.
Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Make checks payable to: Otter Tail County Historical Society
Memo: Kirkbride

Donate Online

Visit this GoFundMe page.

Bryce Wing to be Demolished

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Bryce Hospital Kirkbride

I had been hoping that when the University of Alabama took over the Bryce Hospital campus that they would preserve the entire Kirkbride building there. Unfortunately, they’re planning on tearing down at least one wing to make room for a new performing arts center. Read more about it here: University of Alabama to Build New State of the Art Performing Arts Center on Bryce Hospital Grounds

This news is especially depressing, coming as it does on the heels of the news that New Jersey is moving forward with demolishing the Greystone Kirkbride. Speaking of Greystone, please still consider supporting Preserve Greystone’s continuing efforts to save Greystone. While the Kirkbride is still standing, there is hope it can be saved. And if I learn of any ways to help prevent Bryce’s wing from being torn down, I will post about them here and on Facebook.

1000 Jackson State Hospital Graves Discovered

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

1000 unmarked graves have been discovered on the former grounds of Jackson State Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi according to the Clarion Ledger: Discovery of Graves Affects UMMC Parking Plan. The graves belong to deceased patients of the hospital.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center was planning to build a parking garage on the site, but changed its plans after discovering the graves and will build the garage elsewhere. It would be too expensive to move the bodies.

You can’t help but wonder how many other unmarked graves there are that nobody knows about on former asylum grounds around the country. I’m sure there are many, many thousands (and that’s not counting the thousands of marked graves either named or anonymous).

By the way, there’s a nice image of the Jackson Kirkbride about halfway through the video accompanying the Clarion Ledger’s article (embedded above).

Preserve Greystone Petition

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Greystone State Hospital Kirkbride Building

Preserve Greystone has started an online petition calling for the preservation of the Greystone Kirkbride building in New Jersey. Please sign the petition to show your support for saving this historical and monumental building.

Sign the Petition »

I know online petitions aren’t as effective as contacting New Jersey’s Governor and Treasurer directly by writing letters or through some other medium—please do that too—but signing the petition will still help build support for the building and it will only take a minute of your time.

Thank you.

New Jersey to Demolish Greystone Kirkbride

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Greystone Park Kirkrbide Building

It’s been announced in the press that New Jersey plans to demolish the historic Greystone Kirkbride in spite of receiving six respectable proposals for redevelopment. According to the state, all six proposals left a “funding gap” of $11 million to $25 million. Since the state is unwilling to spend any money on redevelopment, they claim the proposals aren’t viable.

However, at least two organizations who submitted proposals argue they would not require any assistance: Green Center Acres and Auto Mart, Inc. (the company behind the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV).

The process of demolition could begin as early as spring 2014.

Preserve Greystone is vowing to fight the state’s decision. Right now, I’m not sure exactly what people should do to help them. I’ve asked them for the latest information and I’m still waiting to hear back. For the time being, you can like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and check out their existing suggestions at preservegreystone.org/support.html. If I find out anything new, I’ll post about it.

Another option I highly recommend (especially for New Jersey residents) is to call or write to both the Governor and Treasurer and let them know the Kirkbride should be saved.

NJ Governor Chris Christie

Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
1-609-292-6000

NJ Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff

Department of the Treasury
P. O. Box 002
Trenton, NJ 08625-0002

Learn more about this story by following the links below.

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)

The Danvers Room

Friday, August 17th, 2012

The New York Times published an article Tuesday about John Archer’s eclectic house in Danvers, Massachusetts: Scrap Mansion. For those who don’t know, John Archer probably did more than anyone to try keeping the Danvers State Hospital Kirkbride intact. Though his mission to preserve the entire Kirkbride wasn’t ultimately successful, Mr. Archer was able to salvage several reasonably large pieces of what was torn down and have them incorporated into a new wing on his home.

The slideshow accompanying the article includes a few photos featuring the “Danvers Room”—both interior and exterior. The exterior isn’t to my taste really, but it’s not bad considering the Kirkbride’s Gothic style doesn’t blend well with the rest of the house. I like the interior a lot though. You might notice a few familiar looking doors here and there. I’m not sure what else came from the Kirkbride, but there are probably a few other items not shown.

It’s good to know somebody who loved the building so much was able to incorporate pieces of the Kirkbride into their home. I’m sure those bits and pieces will be lovingly looked after.