Posts Tagged ‘ tuberculosis ’

North Brother Island- ceramics

Sometimes artifacts are left in buildings, sometimes they’re found scattered on the grounds, and in the case of islands, rummaging through the sediment and buildup at low tide can reveal treasures. North Brother Island has unfortunately been heavily scrapped, and very little in the way of artifacts actually remains.

Which is why it was amazing to discover that the facility, known as Riverside Hospital, actually had branded dishware. Two broken pieces of a plate, stamped “Riverside” with laurel leaves and a DH, which I can only assume stands for Department of Health. The back of the plate was inscribed with a very faint “Greenwood China, Trenton NJ” which, after a bit of research, turned out to be from the pottery company Messrs. Stephens, Tanis & Co. established in 1861. The particular mark on the plate was first used in 1886. While it seems difficult to further narrow down the date this plate was created beyond the stamp, knowing Riverside Hospital was founded in the 1850s as a smallpox hospital makes me wonder if these plate remnants really are well over 100 years old, and existed before the General Slocum crash on the island’s shores.

Either way, a fascinating find, giving a little more insight into the daily life of the quarantine patients in the early years of the hospital.

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Typography

Photo of hand-painted lettering on a door in an old quarantine building, Staten Island, NY.

Maryland State Sanatorium

Located high in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western Maryland, the former Maryland State Sanatorium has in recent years become the Victor Cullen Youth Center, a juvenile detention facility that has been riddled with escapes and alleged abuse. The center repurposed the former tuberculosis hospital’s cottage plan to house juvenile offenders, though the Administration building remains empty. Filled with ample porches and windows overlooking the surrounding mountains, as this was thought to be curative for patients suffering from tuberculosis, even the roads up to the facility are impressively steep. The old stone buildings at the very peak of the range can be seen from the base in the surrounding town of Sabillasville.

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South Mountain Sanatorium, historic photos

Several weeks ago I had the great opportunity to shoot the former children’s preventorium at South Mountain Sanatorium (formerly known as both the Mont Alto State Sanatorium, PA State Sanitorium No. 1, and the City of Hope) in Mont Alto, Pennsylvania. I’ll be composing a full blog post on the photos later (one is posted here) but in the meantime I figured I’d share some scans of historic photos of the campus. I’ve actually linked these images to larger versions, so please click on them to open a larger version.

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North Brother Island- Morgue

The morgue building on North Brother Island was originally built as a chapel, and its original construction purpose is shown in the Gothic yellow stained glass windows, most of which have since fallen out or been smashed apart. Located right beside the ferry gantry, the building was repurposed as an easier way to transfer the bodies to the mainland for being laid to rest with minimal interaction by other patients, thus preventing stress among the patients remaining on the island. A new, wooden chapel was built further south on the island, and barely even a superstructure remains.

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Rainy Day Sanatorium

I came back from a long weekend of shooting hospitals, and have been editing the photos from the three days. Here’s one, from Mont Alto Sanatorium in the mountains of PA, shot on a rainy day.

North Brother Island- Physical Plant

I’ve spent the last several years visiting the quarantine island known as North Brother, documenting the slow change and decay of the buildings over the years. Located in the middle of the East River off the Bronx in New York, the island is a nesting sanctuary for herons and rarely seen by anyone outside of the NY Parks Department.

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