Kirkbride Buildings Blog

May 19th, 2008

Cherokee State Hospital


I’ve added a page for Cherokee State Hospital. The photos date from the same trip in 2004 when I visited Clarinda and Independence. Like the other two Kirkbrides, the building at Cherokee is in great shape and the grounds are well kept, giving a good sense of what Kirkbride hospitals must have looked like back in the early days. Cherokee was a little different though in that much more of the Kirkbride is still fully used, not to mention the fact that one wing is now occupied by a prison. A tall fence topped with razor wire surrounds the prison wing, and really detracts from the building’s otherwise pleasant appearance. (more…)

March 24th, 2008

Independence State Hospital

Independence State HospitalI’ve added an Independence State Hospital page where you can see my photos of the Kirkbride and learn a little about its history. The photos are from a visit to Iowa I took back in 2004. As I mentioned in the Clarinda post, the quality of the pictures leaves something to be desired. I think these are even a full step down from the Clarinda photos. (The ones from Cherokee are even worse. I don’t even want to post those, but I probably will just to be as complete as possible. Watch for them in the future…)

Independence is a nice looking Kirkbride. It’s facade isn’t as dramatic as some, but it’s still a pretty impressive sight, set back from the main road, sitting at the end of a long stretch of open lawn. Its relative simplicity in design would probably have pleased Dr. Kirkbride. (more…)

February 11th, 2008

Clarinda State Hospital

Clarinda State Hospital
There’s finally a page for Clarinda State Hospital. I visited the place back in 2004…

2004… the days when I absolutely, positively NEEDED a camera that fit in my pocket. The days before I knew what a tripod was for, or had ever heard of things like bracketing. What I’m trying to say that most of the pictures are a bit iffy. Still, there are plenty of other pictures on this site from the same time period, and these Clarinda shots are the best from my Iowa excursion. Looking at some of them though I just can’t help feeling disappointed. Why didn’t I step back a few feet here? Why didn’t I turn two degrees to the right there? How did my @#%*! finger get in front of the lens? (more…)