Day room inside an ancillary building, circa 1932, at a Tennessee State Hospital.
These seclusion rooms are located on the first floor, basement level, of the Polk Building, or K Building, at the Western State Hospital in Tennessee. These rooms contained two doors, the first has an open window with a metal covering. The second is a solid wood door with a glass window. This allowed nurses to check on patients but kept the noise to a minimum.
Medical bottle inside an operating room cabinet at the former West Tennessee State Hospital, recently known as Western State Hospital.
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.
Medical equipment inside a former psychiatric hospital in Tennessee.
This morning, I woke up to the sound of rain and couldn't help but think about what it was like to watch the rain through the window of a patient room at an asylum like this newer building at Western State Hospital in Tennessee. I wonder if anyone ever counted the drops that landed on the windowsill...