Kirkbride Buildings Blog

May 9th, 2008

Even More Historical Photo Goodness

As promised in my last post, here’s another collection of links to old photographs of Kirkbride asylums. There aren’t as many left for me to share as I thought. I really should have just thrown these in with the last bunch, but oh well…

To start things off, here are some images of the Western Hospital for the Insane in Bolivar, Tennessee (otherwise known as Bolivar State Hospital).

1) Administration
2) Side View of the Kirkbride

It’s too bad the second one is so small. There are a lot more like it too which can be seen in this list. You can order prints if you want to see them bigger.

Moving up to Ohio, I also found a set of three interior images from Columbus State Hospital available on this page: Columbus State Hospital

And here’s a nice exterior of the Athens State Hospital admin: Athens State Hospital

I think I prefer old photos of Kirkbrides to anything around today. They show the buildings much closer to their original state, before they were modified and modernized. There’s also a sort of “atmospheric haze” in older photographs that makes them seem more real while at the same time more ethereal. Maybe there’s a technical explanation for that, but being an intuitive sort of photographer, I have no idea what it is. I just know that I like it.

Finally, as a little bonus here are some old drawings of two Wisconsin Hospitals for the Insane. If you get past the clunky interface, you can get a pretty amazingly detailed view of them. While they’re not photographs, they’re still interesting to look at.

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  1. Carl A. Helsing October 13, 2008, 3:27 am

    Asylum of sanity,
    Just right for humanity.

    A place of tranquillity,
    Care’s not for ability,

    But seek’s your stability,
    More than your agility.

  2. tom yerian June 16, 2009, 4:05 pm

    I was patient at cols state hospital/1959-1964. trying to find all pics. I can of the hospital;interior/exterior/ surrounding grounds,etc….Thanks… Ty

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