Photo: "K Building"


The Polk Building, or K Building, at the Western State Hospital in Tennessee, formerly known as the West Tennessee Hospital for the Insane, was constructed in 1932 as a psychopathic facility with 400 beds for patients.

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Photo: "Through 1921 Eyes"


When Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital accepted its first patients in April 1874, they opened the doors to both male and female patients though the original plan was to treat only males. 

The original administration building experienced an attic fire in 1921 and though the patients were safely removed and records preserved, the building was basically destroyed. One portion of the original wings was salvaged, shown here, but the porches and ornamental architecture was removed.

Photo: "Therapy Tubs"

I'm heading out of town for the holidays today, but I experienced a burst of photographic inspiration and dug into the albums from my May 2013 trip to the South this morning.

Here's a shot from inside the Polk building at the former West Tennessee Hospital, designed for psychopathic use and constructed in 1932 to aid in overcrowding. These tubs were part of a hydrotherapy program for patients, which involved covering the tubs with heavy fabric (you can see the securing points on the side of the tubs) to trap steam, only allowing the person's head to be outside the tub. 

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Photo: "Employee Sink"

I haven't had much time to focus on posting images over the last few weeks, but hopefully that will change soon. In the meantime, I've been sorting through my archives and have stumbled upon some new images I hope to post over the next few weeks. 

Here's an image, taken in 2010, of a sink inside an employee dormitory, known as Norwalk Hall, at a former Connecticut Asylum. 

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Photo: "Lost Stories Inspire Me"

Tonight, I was a guest on a Google+ 'Hangout On Air' where we talked about inspiration.  I shared this photograph and explained how finds like this are what drive me to continue photographing forgotten places. Not only do I enjoy the beautiful architecture, but I strive to document the stories that aren't being told; stories about patients, employees and visitors to all these empty spaces. 

The suitcases have been sitting in the attic of the West Tennessee Hospital for the Insane' for decades. When patients were admitted, they carried one suitcase of items to the hospital. Some contained curlers and hair brushes, others contained photographs and letters from loved ones, but all of the suitcases you see here were never returned to the patients and these stories remained lost inside this attic forever. 

Photo: "Sea Of Green"

Milledgeville was the capital of Georgia when the Georgia Lunatic Asylum, later known as Central State Hospital, was opened in 1842. Overcrowding quickly became a problem and expansion projects began in the 1870's and continued well into the 1960's.  The Walker Building, designed to house male convalescent patients, was constructed in 1884. 

Photo: "Two-Toned"

Blue hour light mixes with sodium vapor streetlamps inside this day room.  

Central State Hospital is the oldest psychiatric facility in the state of Georgia, admitting its first patient in 1842. This building, the Walker Building, wasn't constructed until 1884, but remained in operation for almost a century. Today, much of the top floor of the building has experienced severe damage due to the humid, wet conditions of the area.