|Worcester State Hospital|
These were people that most of society had considered hopeless. All had committed some sort of violent crime. All suffered from hallucinations and delusions that medication were unable to help. Some had been in the hospital since the 1950s! Most had never used an ATM, used a phone that didn't have a rotary dial, and of course none had ever even known there was an internet.
I went to the hospital every two weeks to visit a handful of people. Every time I went it was a strange experience. The building was something that looked right out of a Dickens novel. I'd pull into the parking lot, register in the office, and pick up a set of keys. At least, I would try to pick up a set of keys. Sometimes other case managers had all the keys so I was left to fend for myself.
|Taunton State Hospital|
The staff would all be locked inside the office area. There were always a group of patients banging on the door trying to get someone's attention. They'd usually be responding to some sort of hallucination or delusion. It was sad--and I was sad. I was not yet even 23 and thought I could change the world. I learned quickly there was not much to do to help these people. My sadness grew--in part because there was not help--but mostly because I could not help the staff there. I couldn't ever seem to convince anyone to care about the people banging at the door or staring out the window.
|Greystone Park State Hospital|
It took me 20 minutes to get someone's attention.
These images are all of Kirkbride designed hospitals. Dr. Kirkbride was a 19th century physician and asylum superintendent who wrote about hospital design. He had an enormous influence on the conceptualization and construction of insane asylums in the latter part of the 19th century. The design of the building itself was seen as an agent of change to help patients return to sanity. You can find out more here. The views change a little bit when you look inside and away from the places where the administration worked.
|Buffalo State Hospital|
|Iowa State Hospital|
|Cherokee State Hospital|
|Athens State Hospital|