Posts Tagged ‘ massachusetts ’

Worcester State Hospital

View of the front of admin, 2008

One of the few remaining Kirkbride buildings in Massachusetts, these days only the center administration building with clocktower remains. I made a point to go shoot it as demolition was beginning on the remaining wing, four or so years ago, and spent sunset recently shooting the exterior of the clocktower again. Being entirely boarded, other than the top floor, it was difficult to get shots and I wasn’t terribly good at long exposures at that point, but here’s a look at a now mostly-demolished hospital. In the place of the wings new facilities for the hospital have been built, and it was surreal returning, unable to recognize the campus.

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Connector Corridors

A discarded wheelchair, one of the dozens moved into the sub-basement level tunnels sits under a broken piece of roof. I shot this as a thunderstorm rolled through, which was a wonderful experience. Someone clearly moved this wheelchair into the opportune lit area, rare in the maze of dark tunnels, but set up or not, I found the play of light wonderful.

Long Island Isolation – Boston, Massachusetts.

Laboratory & Pharmacy

I spent part of my weekend out in Boston, shooting Long Island Isolation, an old quarantine hospital. The island is crisscrossed with a fascinating maze of semi-elevated tunnels. I’m still working on editing photos, but here’s several light-painted shots from the otherwise pitch black old pharmacy and laboratory section of the campus.

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Asylum Life- Salons

Most asylums and state institutions (and sanatoriums) were fitted with beauty parlors for the patients, helping create a healing environment and giving the patients some freedom in their appearance, despite clothing very often being supplied by the hospital itself. Finding hairdryer and barber chairs in hospitals is fairly common, and I’ve always smiled at finding these varied relics. It’s a breath of fresh air to be reminded of the humanism in a lot of these locations, so often bogged down by the more sensational stories of abuse. Most asylums were self sufficient, with carpentry and sewing rooms, teaching basic skills alongside reducing the cost on maintaining these publically funded institutions, so it would make sense that they would also provide salons

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Taunton State Hospital

I have enough photos from Taunton, a now-demolished Kirkbride hospital in Massachusetts that I could likely post a photo a day for months and still have more to go, but for now I’ll put a few up. I’ve rarely been so inspired by the colors, patterns and light in a place. Staying overnight to be able to get up before dawn and shoot is always an amazing experience. I really miss this location, though I’m sure there will be more Taunton-centric posts to come. Built in 1854, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and was demolished in 2010.

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Worcester State Hospital, bed

An old shot from the sadly now demolished Worcester State Hospital. Winter 2008. Probably still one of my favorite shots to date.

The Victory Theatre, Holyoke MA

The Victory Theatre, located in Holyoke, Massachusetts was originally constructed in 1920 as a movie house and performance space, showcasing both vaudeville and silent films. A pit, located at the front of the stage housed the Victory Symphony Orchestra which played during screenings and performances. One of eight theaters that thrived in the time of silent film and vaudeville, it switched to a solely movie theater in 1931 until its closure inĀ  1979.

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