Monday, June 4, 2012

Luxury & convenience

in danvers, which is not too far from our home, used to be an enormous building on a hill, rather isolated from the rest of the town. its roofline, with many sharp angles and spires, is visible from the highway. part of the building you can see above, as we visited it last month....
the evening before our visit we watched the horrormovie session 9, filmed when this building had been abandoned for some years. the plot; a group of men, hired to remove asbestos from the building after it has been abandoned for some time, seem not to get along, and it ends with the crew getting murdered one by one in the creepy hallways. in the movie, but also in reality, this used to be the danvers state hospital. built between 1874 and 1878, and also named "danvers state insane asylum". the movie was disappointing (although it did scare me, but more of what i imagined i was going to see than what i actually did see...); i expected creepy, but beautiful abandoned hallways that had been subject to years of neglect.  instead, most of the shots of the place were pretty bad. they had access to this building and could film anything they wanted, and they.... just... failed... :(
officially the hospital closed in 1992, and was left abandoned until 2005, when an apartment company bought the property and destroyed most of the original buildings, much to the dismay of many people (there was even a lawsuit, but they wanted and were allowed to demolish it as it was too expensive to renovate all of the buildings). at least they renovated the part above... now its the avalon apartments in danvers. everything new, everything fancy. i guess this company likes to buy abandoned psychiatric hospitals, as they also converted the hospital grounds i showed you recently into apartment complexes. i was somehow nervous when we went there. i really wanted to see what they made of the building, but i also thought it creepy that what once was a place everyone wanted to stay away from now was a "luxury" place to live, complete with basketball court, pool, gym, kids playground...  we pretended to look for an apartment and got a tour in the above building. gone was the feeling of creepiness! it was beautiful. yes, just like in our apartment complex the appliances were cheap, but the building structure was not, beautiful bay windows, high ceilings, lots of space. hadnt it been in the middle of nowhere, we would even considered moving there! (with a rent significantly lower than our current place).
tomorrow i will show you another picture, and a set i will post on flickr....

4 comments:

biebkriebels said...

It is nice they renovate the old buildings and not leave it to fall in pieces. It can be creepy to know the story, but what do you know when you hire a home what has happened there? You made a nice trip I saw to LA and Vegas. Have to read it yet, have to sort out so many photos, and read other blogs.

Tim said...

I would love to live in an old mental institution and creep everyone out :)

Kay said...

It looks gorgeous but I'm not sure I'd like the baggage of that history.

Paul @ Leeds Daily Photo said...

We have a quite similar place a short drive from here. I never had been there before it closed but my ex visited one well known former sports commentator who was locked in there, he was a patient of hers and I well recall it really got to her ( I must add she had no say in his being placed there, she was treating him for another but physical problem). Today it is almost finished as apartments, I dropped by some weeks back curious to see what the redevelopment company had done and thought that outwardly it looked great... Personally I could never live there.