A friend of mine recently posted photos from a Soundgarden show on Instagram. She was excited to see photos of the Hudson River State Hospital Kirkbride appear on the screen behind the band while they played their new song Been Away Too Long. It turns out the building also makes a cameo in the song’s video. See above. Note that only exterior images of the Kirkbride appear. The interior scenes take place within a completely different building, probably not even on the former Hudson River State Hospital campus.
I like the fact that the Kirkbride’s being exposed to a lot of people who probably don’t already know about it. It’s too bad it’s in such a ruinous state, but I suppose that fits the theme of the video, so it probably wouldn’t have happened any other way.
In honor of the 203rd anniversary of Thomas Story Kirkbride’s birthday, I think everybody should take a look at Duffy’s Kirkbrides HD video project. There are lots of good Kirkbride building photographs online these days, but good videos are a bit more rare. That’s why it’s especially nice to see Duffy’s tasteful video project available on Vimeo. The project is the result of countless road trips and flights taken over the course of three years, plus many many hours lovingly sorting through and editing over 600 gigabytes of video. Watching this beautiful footage really makes me wish I had considered video over still images when I first started visiting Kirkbrides.
Still photography is great and there’s really no substitute for it, but video takes things to a different level. It’s great for showing movement through a Kirkbride’s space, and how light plays across a building’s facade as the day passes. Check out the Hudson River video at 0:40 for a fantastic example of the latter. It’s also breathtaking when Duffy leaves the camera trained on a Kirkbride and speeds up time so you can watch clouds passing over the majestic building. Take a look at the Buffalo video at 0:23, and the Weston video at 0:23 to see it for yourself.
Kirkbrides HD is one of the most comprehensive video series of its type, and is a great addition to the documentary preservation of these historic buildings. Take a look when you’ve got forty-five minutes or so to spare. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed: Kirkbrides HD.
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.
According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, redevelopment plans for the former Hudson River State Hospital campus are moving forward: 750 Housing Units Are Planned. In addition to the 750 housing units, developers Hudson Heritage and the Community Preservation Corporation want to create 350,000 square feet of commercial space, most of which would be for retail purposes. (more…)
I like all Kirkbride buildings, but definitely not equally. I have my favorites. Below is a list of the five I like most. Before we get to the list though, here’s a little disclaimer: this list is based solely on aesthetics and does not mean that these are particularly good examples of Kirkbride buildings, or that these were the best hospitals in terms of treatment, recovery rates, staff, etc. Also, I’m only counting the buildings I’ve been to. There are other Kirkbrides I would have considered, but they were demolished decades ago and I don’t want to evaluate them on photographs alone.
At least once a month I browse through my site statistics’ list of web pages linking to KirkbrideBuildings.com. Besides links from the usual asylum and urban exploration sites, KB.com gets a good number of referrals from the not-so-well-traveled corners of the web. Sometimes I find interesting bits of information and personal anecdotes by visiting these pages, most of time I don’t though, and occasionally I see things that I wish I could forget. Anyway, filtered out for your safety and convenience, here are a handful of referring pages from over the years that you may find worth looking at: (more…)