Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for the 'Preservation' Category

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.

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.

Project Kirkbride

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Christian VanAntwerpen had an idea recently to photograph “every inch” of the Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Kirkbride for posterity, and is now working to make his idea a reality. Christian has gathered a group of about forty photographers and cinematographers who plan to photograph the entire building together this year. The end result will be an interactive website that’ll allow anybody anywhere in the world to explore every corner of the Fergus Falls Kirk.

Such an ambitious project will undoubtedly cost a bit of money, so the group set up a Fundrazr page to help offset the cost. Please take a few minutes to check it out and consider making a donation: Help Us Completely Photograph the Fergus Falls RTC »

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)

Colliers International’s Fergus Falls Website

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Historic Campus Opportunity

Colliers International has launched a website as part of their campaign to find a developer for the Fergus Falls Kirkbride: Historic Campus Opportunity. It’ll be interesting to see if Colliers is successful. I believe it’s the first time a Kirkbride has been the subject of such a large scale marketing campaign. Hopefully it’ll result in the right developer finding out about the property and saving it.

If you own a website, or even just a Facebook page, please consider spreading the word by linking to the site.

Saint Vincent’s Affordable Housing

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

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Check out this news item on the former Saint Vincent’s hospital: Civil War Insane Asylum Turned into Affordable Housing. They muddle the hospital’s history a little—although the asylum was founded in 1858, shortly before the Civil War, the Kirkbide was built between 1873 and 1891, well after the Civil War ended in 1865.

It’s great to see the building put to good use. It’ll probably be around for years to come. One can’t help but wonder why it can happen in Missouri, but not in other states. I’m sure it’s relatively modest size and location in a densely populated area both help.

Save the Fergus Falls Kirkbride

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Fergus Falls RTC Kirkbride BuildingThere’s been a flurry of activity regarding Fergus Falls lately. If you haven’t heard, things aren’t looking for preservation. The Fergus Falls City Council rejected the only submitted reuse plan, and has started discussing demolition.

If you live in Fergus Falls and want the building saved, please attend the city council meeting on Monday, May 7th at 5:30PM to show support for preservation. The meeting will be taking place at Fergus Falls City Hall.

There’s also an online petition you can sign to show your support, even if you don’t live in Fergus Falls. Please take a minute to sign it. I know online petitions aren’t the most useful thing in the world, but signing one can’t hurt, and it might do some good. (Note that after signing, you’ll get an email with a request for a $5 donation. That donation is for the petition site, NOT for saving the Kirkbride.)

For Sale: Hudson River State Hospital

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Hudson River State Hospital For SaleThey finally went and did it. The organization behind the proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the former  Hudson River State Hospital campus has put the property, along with its magnificently sprawling Kirkbride building, on the real estate market. All CPC Resources‘ plans for Hudson Heritage Park are dead. For details, check out the Poughkeepsie Journal’s Psych Center Site Development Plan Stalls.

This doesn’t come as a big surprise given the devastating fire in 2007, the backing out of project partners in 2008, and the long-term lack of news about the redevelopment plans. In my opinion, the chances for preservation of the Kirkbride are greatly reduced by this sale. I doubt whoever purchases the property in this economic climate will have preservation of an historic property high on their agenda.

What Will the Worcester Clocktower Look Like?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Worcester Clock Tower
An article on the Boston Globe website includes an artist’s rendering of the Worcester State Hospital clock tower replica: Clock Tower: Time Isn’t Up in Worcester. Even though I’m very disappointed in the clock tower replica compromise and don’t think it could ever be a fitting stand-in for the entire building, I have to say it doesn’t look quite as silly as I had feared. What do you think?