Monday, May 14, 2012

Psychiatric hospital

2 weeks back we went to waltham. for a certain supermarket. as i thought it was too much of a drive for just a supermarket (some 30 minutes), i googled around a bit to see whether there is anything interesting to see in waltham. i then found that the above building is on the "national register of historic places" AND is abandoned... so i had to check that out. well... it used to be the administration building of the metropolitan state hospital, built in 1927. built as an enormous complex, with many different buildings on 330 acres of land, it housed the mentally ill. in 1992, it closed, in line with the state's policy to close mental hospitals to cut costs and to move patients into private care. this hospital is located in a rural area, with lots of woods around it. there is not much to be found on wikipedia about it, aside from the sad story that one patient murdered another in 1978, and kept several of her teeth as a souvenir. some other sites mention the place is haunted, since the patients were treated very badly, often.
here you can see how huge the complex was. underground all those buildings were connected by tunnels, so that staff and patients could get to other buildings easily during winter, etc. in 2007, all those buildings were demolished and an apartment complex was built. i think i read somewhere that they did use the foundations for some of the buildings. now you can live on the grounds of a former psychiatric hospital for "just" 1800 dollars a month (1-bedroom). 
i dont understand why they left the building like this. if it is a building of "historic interest", why do they leave it all boarded up? the entrance full of graffiti? it makes its sad past even worse, i think...
if interested in some pictures from the insides of the buildings in abandoned state, click here, and tomorrow i will show you some more pictures of this place.


biebkriebels said...

I always wonder why all those abandoned buildings keep standing in the US until they fall apart. Maybe there is enough space to let it go, or no money to demolish. In our crowded country you hardly see this.

Wayne said...

I have a book called Asylum by the photographer Christopher Payne.

I expect the pictures wouldn't be to everyone's taste but they are amazing images from the inside of many abandoned mental hospitals.

Kay said...

Then-governor Ronald Reagan shut down the mental hospitals in California so the patients could go into "private care." That was the beginning of the "homeless problem" in California as - surprise! - there was nowhere for them to go.