Photo: "Theatre Gold"


This theatre was part of a facility for feeble-minded women, particularly between the ages of 16 and 45.  It was designed to detain, segregate, care for and train these women and operated from 1920 to 1998. 

Despite the hospital's dark history, this theatre was quite beautiful. I loved the worn texture of the wooden seats, the missing tiles on the ceiling playing a game of Tetris and the beautiful massive windows with gaudy golden draperies. 


Photo: "Single Family Rehabilitation Home"


Inside Unit 2, a very large Children's Preventorium at the former South Mountain Sanatorium, lies this unusual structure. Located on the fourth floor in the center section of the building, sits what resembles a standard family house, complete with a living room, dining room, bathroom, kitchen and two small bedrooms. Sadly, not much information can be found about this house, but from the documentation I have found, it seems it was designed to be a rehabilitation home for a family with a child who had tuberculosis, but was not yet showing the active symptoms of the disease. 

Photo: "Streetlight Cures"

Light from a streetlamp, just before dawn, seeps into a patient room at the Mont Alto Sanatorium in Pennsylvania.

The roots of the sanatorium began in 1901 with one shack in the mountains of Pennsylvania. This building, Unit 2, was constructed in 1938 and designed as a Children's Preventorium, to treat tuberculosis.

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Photo: "A Life Lost"

Unfortunately, today's image comes with a sad story of a history lost. The Saint Nicholas coal breaker, just outside of Manahoy City, Pennsylvania, is undergoing demolition as I write this post. 

The plant opened in 1932, but to begin construction in 1930, half of the village of Suffolk had to be relocated to make room for the massive facility. The construction process included laying 20 miles of railroad track, 1.5 miles of conveyor and 118 miles of wire and cable. 

The Saint Nicholas breakers were the largest coal facilities in the world and at the time this was the second largest plant in the world. The factory was constructed with 2 separate sides that are able to operate independently and produced a combined volume of 12,500 tons of coal per day. 

This plant closed since 1963.

Photo: "Corridor, Forensic Building"

Corridor inside the forensic building at Mayview State Hospital in Pennsylvania. 

This building was responsible for housing the criminally insane, those guilty by reason of insanity, which is one of the reasons the building is very stark and mundane.   

Sadly, this campus was demolished earlier this year.  

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Photo: "Autopsy Room"

(From the archives, 2010)

Laurelton State Village for the Feeble-Minded Women of a Child Bearing Age was constructed in 1914 and was the first facility of its' kind. It was designed to detain and provide mental health care for women between the ages of 16 and 45 and was a self-sufficient institution. 

In 1969, males were being admitted to the hospital which forced the hospital to take a new direction and it became the Laurelton State School and Hospital. 

The site closed in 1998 and relocated the 193 patients. 

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Photo: "Theatre/Gymnasium"

I've been spending a lot of time sorting through images for the website re-design and when I stumbled upon this one last night, I wanted to share it. It's not the most beautiful or technical photograph, but it serves as a great historical photograph of this space just prior to demolition. 

When I had the chance to photograph the location early last year, the demolition process was already underway. In the theatre, many seats had been removed and shoved against the walls and plastic was covering the doorways.