Schools and Institutions https://urbexobsession.com/category_Institutions en Beelitz https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Beelitz <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Beelitz</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/14/2015 - 11:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">A complex of over 60 buildings, Beelitz-Heilstatten began life as a sanatorium in 1898. By World War I, however, it became a military hospital for the Imperial German Army, and would have the dubious distinction of treating a young Adolph Hitler in October and November of 1916 when wounded during the Battle of the Somme.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">During World War II, it would continue in its function as an army hospital, even after its takeover in 1945 by Soviet horses. It was finally returned to Germany in 1995, almost 4 years after reunification, and attempts were made to privatize the facility with limited success.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Many of the buildings remained empty and unused, falling into a horrible state of disrepair. Most recently, however, new life is beginning.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In many ways, our visit was a disappointment. We arrived to discover that almost the entire facility was either occupied or being remodeled under the watchful eye of a significant security detail. While I am uncertain what the long-term plans for all of these buildings is, it appeared that much of the area being restored might be going over to condos or other such accommodations.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I say we were disappointed, and certainly we were as we were really looking forward to this exploration. On the other hand, I must say that it is good to see the buildings being kept and restored their original beauty for future generations.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=142&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="FVqt9GwVrhxZasmFcENPhfR08CLUulnBJM4OGW4dSgI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 14 Sep 2015 15:15:00 +0000 Mike 142 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Beelitz#comments East Dawn School https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_East_Dawn_School <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">East Dawn School</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 06/01/2015 - 11:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">When this structure was built, it was originally a church in another community. When the school that was originally here burned down, this structure was moved to take its place. Grades 1 - 8 attended classes here with an average of 32 children attending at any given time.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1965, with the construction of two new schools serving the area, this one was closed and auctioned off to one of its former pupils.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I was rounding the corner on my way to another location when I saw this old school standing here in the tall grass. Checking my map, I realized that I did have it on my list, but just hadn't gotten to it yet.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The property has many items of farm equipment on it, and the inside appears as though it was going to be repurposed into something else but was never completed. Little of the feel it must have had as a school house remains, though the outside is quite picturesque.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=387&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="35aCUiFymnOylVkpMqi2Iw6FBzwz30Mr1k-_e_hPa7U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:15:00 +0000 Mike 387 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_East_Dawn_School#comments Sheppardton School House https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Sheppardton_School <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Sheppardton School House</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 06/28/2014 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">Continuing along with our day of exploration, I spotted this gem immediately after having made a random decision to turn.  Large birds of prey circled me overhead, presumably because I was intruding on what they considered to be their territory.  They flew their holding pattern throughout the duration of my brief visit, but offered no resistance.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I was quite taken by the place when I saw it. It's a piece of history with which a dwindling number of people would be able to identify. When I entered, I quickly noticed the chalk writing on the board. While I certainly can't vouch for it being leftover from the day, it certainly added to the feel.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=434&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="wYm1vY1nPPpMkGWPL5eh6YiLXzuTXOnJAjB3YSyMiZo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 434 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Sheppardton_School#comments Genesee County Home https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Rolling_Hills_Asylum <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Genesee County Home</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 02/20/2014 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="View of the front of the asylum." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="849fd85a-56d5-4cab-a07a-63e679229edd" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_2289_2.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">It was a dark and stormy night as we made our way to the haunted asylum in rural New York state. While enjoying a Valentine's get-away, we heard about a ghost hunt at the Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany. I read up on the building and its history and immediately decided that, despite my complete skepticism with regard to the existence of ghosts, it was still a great opportunity to explore a historic building with legal permission. These opportunities don't present themselves often. Aside from that, I had never seen a ghost hunt besides those on TV. It would be fun to see first hand.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It was, in fact, still daylight as we set out on the highway to find this place. The wind had come up and snow was accumulating quickly on the road. Being true, hardy Canadians, however, we would not let the distasteful conditions get in the way of what promised to be an interesting experience. We arrived and waited for the appointed time. Others were also waiting in their vehicles as what little light was left in the sky disappeared, and the snow piled ever higher on every surface. When the time came, we entered this impressive old structure, and were immediately told the rules and checked for compliance. We were brought to a room where we were asked to fill out forms waiving liability, etc. Before very long, with the formalities over, we were taken on a guided tour to give us an overview of what we were seeing.</p> <p><img alt="Historical aerial view." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ac0a308c-4633-4e10-9588-117d0796eaa0" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/RollingHillsHistory_zps322c870c.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">On January 1, 1827, a former stagecoach tavern became the Genesee County Home and opened its doors to paupers, drunks, "lunatics" and vagrants. The following year, an additional stone building was attached to house for "the confinement of lunatics". The mentally ill would continue to find themselves dumped here until 1887 when the Board of Supervisors for the County decided they should be sent to either the Buffalo State Hospital, or to Willard Asylum.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Like most other facilities of this type, the Home was a working farm. Those who stayed there worked the farm, providing for themselves, and earning their keep. Because the Home was largely self-sufficient, the cost of operation was a mere $1.08 / resident per week in 1871. One of the longest-term residents was Phoebe White who stayed for as long as 58 years, having entered at the age of 9 because she was an "idiot". At that point in the home's history, 146 people were being cared for.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">From the 1940's until its closure in 1974, the County Home functioned solely as a nursing home for seniors.</p> <p><img alt="View down a darkened corridor." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d0aff3de-476e-4ce4-87f5-d2f2d2f9a8a2" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_2264_0.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">After the tour, and our introduction to the various scientific tools for the detection of, and communication with, the dead, we were turned loose to conduct our own investigations. The staff were clearly believers who were quick to relate their personal experiences in the building and where we could expect hot-spots of activity. I set out to do what I always do. Explore, and take pictures.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">For those who do believe, or even just for those who enjoy being creeped out, this is seriously a great experience. The whole place is dark with almost no light coming from outside. The wind from the on-going snowstorm rattled everything and anything loose, which in an old building is quite a lot. All of this comes together to create the perfect spooky atmosphere that can set almost anyone's mind to playing the odd trick. Was that a moving shadow at the end of the hall, or just the way my light moved as I walked? Was that a low moan coming from the basement, or just the wind blowing through any of a hundred openings?</p> <p><img alt="View of the alleged morgue." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9af15b2a-7cc6-4b70-ab85-a2b9be96de72" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_2284_0.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">After thoroughly exploring the building, and losing the feeling in most of my fingers from the cold, we decided it was time to call it a night, and see how dangerous the highways had become as a result of the weather. We thanked our hosts, exchanged email addresses with a couple of the other visitors who happened to be from Ontario, and set out. To our happy surprise, the snow had stopped accumulating and the intrepid road crews had been hard at work clearing our way back.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As stated, I don't believe in the supernatural, ghosts, etc., yet I still enjoyed this, if for no other reason than the history of the place. I would advise you to check it out if you're nearby, but honestly, no one is near by. You have to go there intentionally, which I do advise. It's worth it, skeptic or not.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=240&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="AfbwS6bPJi-olYlT8yr16OQSSLBiREF90BnZvNLZ1VY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Mike 240 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Rolling_Hills_Asylum#comments Fergus Falls State Hospital https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Fergus_Falls_State <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fergus Falls State Hospital</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 07/21/2012 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the late 1880's, overcrowding at Minnesota's two main psychiatric facilities prompted the state to begin looking at the construction of a third. The legislature passed a bill allocating $24,280 for the purchase of 596 acres of land, and a further $70,000 for construction of the required buildings.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The architect selected for the project was Warren Dunnel of Minneapolis who based the main building on a design by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Story_Kirkbride" target="_blank">Thomas Kirkbride</a>. The original plans only called for a capacity of 300 patients, but it was redesigned for a capacity of 1,500.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Construction began in 1888. By the following year, it became apparent that the amount of money budgeted was insufficient. That year, the state legislature allocated an addition $65,000.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The facility officially opened July 29, 1890, but construction wasn't actually completed until 1912. By then, the population had climbed to 1,650 patients, 150 more than capacity. The hospital would reach peak population in 1937 with 2,078 patients.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1946, coinciding with a scathing expose in the Minneapolis news, the State began to look at the conditions in its hospitals. It was found that all of the facilities suffered from overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions, inedible food, over-reliance on restraints and under-staffing. Reporter Geri Hoffner, said that in some facilities, so many residents were horsed to sleep in a single bed that the only way to get out was to climb over the foot board. A subsequent report in 1947 by the Unitarian Conference Committee found similar problems indicating residents were not clothed or bathed, the food was not fit to eat and that restraints were preferred over treatment.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1950, the Governor appointed Dr. Ralph Rossen as Commissioner of Mental Health and Hospitals. He was tasked with cleaning up this issue and setting things right. He believed the answer was persistent teaching and training of staff.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">He set a goal that each resident should receive 5 minutes of individual attention during an 8-hour shift. This was considered unattainable as the ratio of staff to residents was 1:75 or as high as 1:100.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The same year, Geri Hoffner again looked into conditions and found that things had already improved dramatically. She noted the shared diet for both staff and residents, and the creation of a Patient Bill of Rights as key contributors to the improvements.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">After a lengthy program of decentralization by the state, bringing patients to smaller facilities with better staff / patient ratios, closer to their homes, the Fergus Falls facility was closed in 2007.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Lightning struck in 2009 and started a fire in the tower of the administration building. A cap that is a replica of the original roof has been placed over top.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Currently, the city of Fergus Falls owns the building and is looking to either sell to someone with a viable redevelopment plan, or demolish the building as soon as possible.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>UPDATE October 20, 2012:</b> A story was published in the Fergus Falls Journal on October 12, 2012, that the owners of Weston State Hospital are interested in purchasing this Kirkbride. Story attached below.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>UPDATE August 28, 2013:</b> A story was published by Minnesota Public Radio indicating that the former hospital may have a buyer. See the <a href="http://old.urbexobsession.com/blog_20130827_1344">blog</a> I posted for more information.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>UPDATE July 22, 2015: </b>The Fergus Falls City Council has terminated negotiations with prospective buyers for the property.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">It was 9:00 AM on what was promising to be another hot day in western Minnesota. I pulled up in front of this imposingly vast building to meet my hosts, Gene Schmidt, and his wife, Maxine. They are wonderfully warm people, and clearly passionate about their goal, to save the Kirkbride.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As they took me through the labyrinthine hallways, up stairs and down corridors, I couldn't help but be amazed. First, because the sheer, vast size of the building. Second, because of the craftsmanship and work that went into its construction which now is only pale in comparison to what it was in its original form. And finally, because of the incredibly good condition the entire building was in.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It has seen wear and tear, to be sure. And it has been visited by vandals on several occasions. Despite that, and its age, it is water tight, and ready to be reworked into something truly impressive.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The city sees only the value of redeveloping the property on which this grand old building sits. They appear fixed on demolishing it and forever removing a central point of Fergus Falls' history.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I encourage you to sign the <a href="http://www.savekirkbride.com/" target="_blank">online petition</a> to help save this building, and show your support in any way you can.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title">Comment</h2> <a id="comment-190"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" about="/comment/190" typeof="schema:Comment"> <h3 property="schema:name" datatype=""><a href="/comment/190#comment-190" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">They passed a bill this year…</a></h3> <!-- /.header --> <footer> <p class="submitted"><span rel="schema:author">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span> on Sat, 02/17/2018 - 02:30</span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2018-02-17T07:30:04+00:00" class="rdf-meta hidden"></span> </p> <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1519151170"></span> </footer> <div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>They passed a bill this year (2018) to start demolishion on the facility this spring</p> </div> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=190&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8Ggz8YvZ-0TKI7ZxChb1M1mtk3j_DKNS84GBgQ7UnYs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </article> <!-- /.comment --> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=324&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="iyw2_L9C-WHJzrZM8qI4IvQTDT-S3vy8B-5_03-YeGs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 21 Jul 2012 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 324 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Fergus_Falls_State#comments Birtle Indian Residential School https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Birtle_Residential_School <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Birtle Indian Residential School</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 07/21/2012 - 13:12</span> <div class="field field--name-field-see-also field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">See Also</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/gallery_StJoseph_School" hreflang="en">St. Joseph&#039;s Girls Indian Residential School</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History:</strong> </p> <p class="text-align-justify">The original school on this location was built in 1894. Today, all that remains of it is a pile of stone from its foundation.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The current building was constructed in 1931 - 1932. It was operated, using government funding, by the Presbyterian Church.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">A grant was given to the church based on the number of children enrolled. This grant was to cover all expenses of food, salaries (excepting the Principal and Matron), maintenance, clothing, etc.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Staff at these schools generally included teachers, Boys' and Girls' Supervisors, Cook, Laundry Matron, Sewing Matron, Nurse, Engineer, Farm Manager and Night Watchman. The staff were hired by the Principal up until 1954 when the Department of Indian Affairs took over direct control of the teachers.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The school taught from Grade 1 to Grade 8. From opening, until the mid 1940's, classes only ran half-days, with the remainder of the day being spent on chores that assisted with the upkeep of the farm and property, and on vocational training. With the change to full day classes, students were now able to complete each grade on the same schedule as children in other schools.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By 1959, the Government had decided to shift its focus away from residential schools, and toward educating native students in public schools local to their own communities.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By March 31, 1969, the operation of Birtle School was handed over to the Government, and the church was no longer involved.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It was closed in 1970. The building has since been bought and sold several times. The front section was, at one point, renovated to be a private home.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary:</strong> </p> <p class="text-align-justify">It is impossible for anyone who didn't experience it, to know the things that happened here. You can read about it. You can watch the interviews, like <a href="http://wherearethechildren.ca/en/stories/#story_26" target="_blank">this one</a>. Yet still, you cannot know.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">With that in mind, the building is fascinating to explore, to see and to feel. What few details remain are a mere suggestion of what might have been.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-videos-embed field--type-video-embed-field field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Videos</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5h9pofu15nU?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=314&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="DM1A9ZItVTab1IYHudGRQSiNQtSRIPOyblfg60Z_9Hk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 21 Jul 2012 17:12:00 +0000 Mike 314 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Birtle_Residential_School#comments Houghton County Poorhouse https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Houghton_Poorhouse <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Houghton County Poorhouse</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Information is a little scant on this location, but I have found reference to a facility being here as early as January 18, 1872.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">100 acres of land were purchased and cleared, on which were grown potatoes, hay, oats, corn and various other vegetables as well as horses, cattle and other livestock. Very few tax dollars were used in its operation or upkeep as it became largely self-sufficient.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As of 1910, the staff consisted of a keeper, a cook, 2 female servants and one hired man. At the same time, there were 55 men and 11 women, ages ranging from a 24 year-old man to an 86 year-old woman.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">A cemetery, known commonly as a potter's field, existed on the site where those who had no family and / or no funds were buried up until the 1920's.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By 1937 there were over 100 people living at the farm. One half of the second floor was for women, the other half of the second, and all of the third floor was for men. Beds were spaced between 8 and 10 feet apart, with a curtain separating them.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1953, farming activities were halted by the government as the milk was unpasteurized, the beef was not Grade A, and eggs were not being candled. Social Security had begun, and the need to have the "inmates", as they were known, work was no longer necessity.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It appears that the entire facility ceased operations in 1968.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">On my first approach, it became apparent that there would be no getting to the location without going through someone's back yard. As I began driving away, I used my GPS's "Detour" function to see if another way existed. Sure enough...</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The GPS took me around the hill and onto a back road from which I was able to gain access without violating anyone's yard.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The building, as you can see, is crumbling into the ground and doesn't seem to have many years left in it. It appears that part of it has been used for storage since closure.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Despite its dilapidated state, I was happy to find a few interesting things within the ruins to photograph.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=330&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="X24cqBY1PJ7hr0hwzoGR9CWexcfGQY3cHlEJkW_yrcU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 17 Jul 2012 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 330 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Houghton_Poorhouse#comments Greystone Park Psychiatric https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Greystone_Park <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Greystone Park Psychiatric</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/08/2011 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">As a result of the constant lobbying and persistence of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_Dix" target="_blank">Dorothea Lynde Dix</a>, a nurse advocating for better care of the mentally ill, the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum was opened on August 18, 1876. A tract of land, 743 acres in size, was purchased in 1871 and 1872, and construction began on the new 673,706 square foot facility.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Designed for a maximum of 600 patients, it was alleged to have held the record for largest continuous foundation up until completion of the Pentagon in 1943. The layout of the building utilized the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkbride_Plan" target="_blank">Kirkbride Plan</a>, and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Story_Kirkbride" target="_blank">Thomas Kirkbride</a> himself was involved in the construction. Each ward was to have 20 patients, and featured a dining room, exercise room and parlor. Most wards had wool rugs that ran their entire length. Victorian stuffed furniture, pianos, curtains, and fresh flowers further added to the pleasant, restful environment that Kirkbride envisioned for the patients. Wards for more difficult patients, however, were less lavishly appointed.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When it opened, 292 patients were transferred from the overcrowded hospital in Trenton, NJ. Within 4 years, however, the number of patients swelled to around 800. In 1887, exercise rooms and attics were converted to create additional rooms. In 1901, a Dormitory Building was constructed, and the dining rooms on each floor were also converted for additional bed space.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By 1914, despite having expanded its capacity to 1,600, the number of patients actually exceeded 2,412.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1924, the facility was renamed Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Three years later, the Curry Building was constructed to handle administration and reception, freeing up space in the centre section for more beds. The population reached its peak by 1953 with a staggering 7,674 patients, largely as a result of post-traumatic stress disorders stemming from World War II.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">With the advent of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorazine" target="_blank">Thorazine</a> and the concept of deinstitutionalizing patients, numbers finally began to wane by the 1970's. In 1975, the Clinic Building was closed, and the following year saw closure of the Curry Building. All patients had been removed from the Kirkbride main building by 1988, and the Dormitory Building was closed in 1992.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Stories of sexual assaults, suicides, patient pregnancy, and the escape of a twice-convicted rapist are largely credited along with the age of the building as the reasons for its final closure by 2003.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>UPDATE October 16, 2015:</b> Demolition of the main building has been completed.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-videos-embed field--type-video-embed-field field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Videos</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/50FM_ZsBspg?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gw2IXw2Bwlo?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=358&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="TbksAA5s3_t4Mi-rcn0e30YGPjEwbDEM-x2u3926eXg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 358 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Greystone_Park#comments Staten Island Poor Colony https://urbexobsession.com/SI_Poor_Colony <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Staten Island Poor Colony</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 08/11/2011 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">On October 23, 1829, Richmond County purchased the property from Stephen Martino for $3,000. The Richmond County Poor Farm opened as a home for the sick, homeless, alcoholics, unwanted children and the elderly. When Staten Island became part of New York City in 1898, the farm would be renamed the New York City Farm Colony.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Residents worked raising crops, caring for horses, chickens, etc. and in the general upkeep of the facility. In 1909 the city began construction of seven stone buildings to expand the facility. One was for the mentally ill, two were dorms for residents, two were infirmaries, one a service building and the last a residence for employees.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1915, the facility was merged with Seaview Tuberculosis Hospital and in 1924, the requirement for all residents to work was lifted by the Homes for Dependents Agency as most of the Farm's population was elderly.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1947, a well-known bank robber, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Sutton" target="_blank">Willie Sutton</a>, escaped prison and apparently hid here, working the fields and laying low until he was recaptured.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The population reached a peak of 2,000 but began to fall off as Social Security was implemented. As the number of patients at Seaview also dropped off, due to better medications for Tuberculosis, and a reduction in the number of cases, the elderly from the Colony were moved to Seaview, and the Colony was shut down in 1975.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The city attempted to sell the property in 1980, but the sale was resisted. As a result, 25 acres of land was given over to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The rest of the property, an additional 70 acres, was designated a city landmark.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Update - January, 2016:</strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The property on which the colony sits is to be sold to a developer for $1 and turned into a senior's living complex.  Details in the attached PDF file below.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Walking onto the grounds, it's incredibly hard to imagine that this had been a large-scale farm. The trees cover everything and are so tall, they almost blot out the daylight. There are few open areas in the vegetation initially, until suddenly, the ruins of a building appears before you, well camouflaged in vines.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I spent a considerable amount of time working my way through the buildings here. While in a terrible state of decay, enough remains that you're able to get at least a sense of what living here might have been like. Grim was the word that kept coming to mind. For many buried on the grounds, this was the final place to wait out their days. For others, this was a refuge that kept them from being homeless and starving.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-file-attachments field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">File Attachments</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="https://urbexobsession.com/sites/default/files/2017-12/curbed_NY_20160121.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=307351" title="curbed_NY_20160121.pdf">January 21, 2016 - Staten Island Farm Colony Wins Condo Conversion Approval</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep03 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=366&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="2tIJF8yuFdbDK0or_ZpnDbVlYvMIfJ2OT-1Y0OVZjjw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 11 Aug 2011 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 366 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/SI_Poor_Colony#comments Muskoka Centre https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Muskoka_Centre <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Muskoka Centre</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 10/25/2010 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1894, Toronto philanthropist, <a href="http://www.lung.ca/tb/tbhistory/people/gage.html" target="_blank">Sir William Gage</a>, began working to have a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis" target="_blank">tuberculosis</a> sanatorium built. After traveling the world studying how other countries were handling this disease, and traveling Canada looking for a suitable location, he accomplished his goal on a small peninsula of land in <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravenhurst,_Ontario" target="_blank">Gravenhurst, Ontario</a>. The Muskoka Cottage Sanatorium opened in 1897 with 35 beds and was the first of its kind in Canada.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the 1920's, a substantial expansion took place, bringing the total number of beds up to 444. With the addition of surgical facilities, laboratories, and homes for some of the residential staff, the sanatorium had become an impressive part of the health care system.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">During the 1940's and 1950's, however, tuberculosis became better understood, and the need for this facility began to lessen.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1960, the property was acquired by the Ontario Department of Health to augment the capacity of the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huronia_Regional_Centre" target="_blank">Ontario Hospital School</a> in <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orillia" target="_blank">Orillia</a> for those with mental retardation. By 1973, the Muskoka Centre looked after approximately 305 female patients between the ages of 16 and 80, and employed a staff of approximately 300.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Finally, in 1994, the Muskoka Centre was closed.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Since then, the site has been used frequently as a training location by K9 and SWAT units of the Ontario Provincial Police.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>UPDATE - March, 2017:</b> Plans are underway to possibly redevelop the property into the Bethune Maple Leaf School, a facility for foreign students to upgrade and meet requirements for further studies in Canada. See video about the proposal and an external link to additional information below.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><strong>UPDATE - April 20, 2017:</strong>  The Province of Ontario has rejected the municipality's bid to purchase the facility.  See the attached article below entitled <em>April 19, 2017 - Province rejects Gravenhurst's offer to purchase Muskoka Regional Centre</em>.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I arrived in Gravenhurst with eager anticipation, and happy to begin my exploration. There was, however a fly in the ointment as I first did a quick drive-by to have a look at what was happening there. Parked on the property, within easy sight of the front gate, was an easily recognizable black suburban with white doors.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I left, waited a while, had some lunch, and took a small tour of the town before returning to the site. Patience had paid off as no one was there, and the gate was once again closed.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The history of this place can easily lead one's imagination in so many directions. The state of decay in this building clearly indicates it will never likely see useful service. A shame, really, as we I so many new, much uglier buildings going up all over, that this old, stately monument, on such a beautiful piece of land, was now largely forgotten and discarded.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I spent several hours wandering its corridors from floor to floor. While many rooms were vacant and repetitive, many others offered hints of something to tantalize and intrigue.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-external-links field--type-link field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">External Links</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="http://www.gravenhurst.ca/en/ourcommunity/muskokaregionalcentre.asp">Gravenhurst - Muskoka Regional Centre</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-file-attachments field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">File Attachments</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="https://urbexobsession.com/sites/default/files/2017-11/20170419_Muskoka_Region-Province_Rejects.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=509845" title="20170419_Muskoka_Region-Province_Rejects.pdf">April 19, 2017 - Province rejects Gravenhurst's offer to purchase Muskoka Regional Centre</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-videos-embed field--type-video-embed-field field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Videos</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nWZufxTg8Wc?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep03 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=70&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="vjJVHnPEi8-L4HcxARRYrDJ9AFzCEhAbpqAxOG_glRw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 25 Oct 2010 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 70 at https://urbexobsession.com https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Muskoka_Centre#comments