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more on abandoned mental hospitals

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Mar. 23rd, 2006 | 07:39 am

These were not taken at the first hospital grounds, but on the grounds of second hospital, completely closed down by the time we visited. The top picture shows windows that, certainly at one point, the g rounds crew would have been diligent about cutting down the junk trees you see here. I liked the effect, making it appear more secluded than the site had actually been. In truth, this particular shot shows a part of one building quite visible from a public road, though I doubt seriously whether many pay attention to the detail while driving by.
     The concrete border near the bottom of the picture was signficant in that it represented a level found near the roof height of a series of partially submerged tunnels that ran between buildings on the grounds. At some points the tunnels were completely submerged, particularly as one approached the newer buildings on the grounds. But in this part of the campus, the "tunnels" stood, as it were, about four foot above the ground level.
     The campus is situated on over 300 acres of land. At the time these photos were taken there were no barriers in place and people could just wander on the grounds. We got "permission" [as it were] to do just that from one of the hired security who drove up while we were meandering slowly obviously taking photos. He saw no reason to stop us, indicating it was alright with him that we were doing this, and advising that we not get ourselves hurt; for that we'd be on our own. Needless to say, with this tacit approval, we allowed ourselves the most generous of interpretations of where and how far we could wander.
     This doorway would have let someone into the building reserved for "the criminally insane." It was the only building we were unable to gain entry into, even though it had not been used in probably 40 years. This entryway sat atop one of the tunnels, itself accessible by either bridges from other buildings or concrete and brick steps going up to the top of the roof/walkway.
     We discovered many easy access points into the buildings, though the first was through a cellar window, which we squeezed through. Had we explored only a few hundred feet more, we would have discovered access through entryways without doors, and six--foot hight window spaces lacking glass.
     That face looking out at you is not someone in the building. As far as we knew it was abandoned. I was unaware of that fact that the sun and light at that time of day captured my reflection on the glass. This was noted only after getting the photos back from the photo developing shop.
     Perhaps because this building seems so impenetrable, we roamed around it and underneath to try to find entry. We also knew what it had been used for [the building was infamous among folks who knew the history of area mental institutions] so our curiosity drove us to see how successful we could be to gain entry. Ultimately, we did not succeed.
     We were, however, able to take one peek inside, but from inside the tunnel level of the building. As with the entry above, and outside, the door was thick, metal cased and secured shut with a dual set of locks. The windows in most of these doors had double pane glass with chicken wire between the layers. However, the window had been smashed and [over the years, and no doubt by other explorers] the frame had been picked clean of any shards or wire.
     Because of this, I was able to extend my arm into the space beyond the door and snap this picture. Not visible was a stairway coming down from the right side of the picture [actually, the lowest part of the stair's balustrade rail can be seen in the lower right corner of the pixture]. Beyond the metal cage-type door was another room where I could not see completely, but it appeared almost as if there were stanchions lined alongside the walkway going back from the second door.
     The way the chair was arranged, it seemed clear that, at some point, somebody came down here for some reason and just sat there. I hesitate to guess what purpose the sitter may have had for being down there.

NOTE: As with the other one, portions of this entry has been cross-posted at the LiveJournal group Abandoned Places. So as not to be completely the same, I have added a few other details here for your edification, and so the pictures don't butt up against one another.

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