Cranberry County Tuberculosis Sanatorium

The Cranberry County Tuberculosis Sanatorium* was a tuberculosis hospital (1919-1965) later transitioned into a chronic care facility (1965-1992) and located in New England.

Planning for the new hospital started around 1915 when the state wanted to build more county tuberculosis hospitals to treat the ongoing TB issue. Cranberry County Hospital was approved and a location was chosen in the center of the county by drawing an X on a map. The exact location was chosen due to its elevation being higher than the surrounding area as well as its close proximity to the railroad and main routes but still being in a decently isolated location in the woods. A local and prominent architect was chosen to design the new, state of the art hospital. The architectural style of the hospital is Mediterranean Revival which was popular in places at the time, was unique to the mostly Colonial style of the area.

The grand opening was held on May 30, 1919 and the first patients were admitted.  Bradford Peirce, a renowned doctor in Boston was chosen to be the superintendent of the hospital and lived in the large doctors residence on the campus. Serving for twenty years, he was greatly liked by patients and workers alike and retired after many years of service. The treatment of tuberculosis continued here until 1965 when the hospital converted fully into a 68-bed chronic care facility. After going through a name and ownership change in the 1980s the aging facility was fully closed in 1992 and opened back up in a new location just a couple towns over but would forever shut down just a few years later.

 

Abandoned since 1992 CCTS remained relatively quiet until the mid 2000s when ownership problems as well as a string of arsons and heavy vandalism took its toll on the historic facility which made any re-use of the hospital non-existent.

Ashecliffe Asylum

Ashecliffe Asylum was the first asylum in Massachusetts to be built on the “cottage plan” as opposed to hybrid plans and the “Kirkbride Plan” which has fallen out of favor. Ground broke for the new asylum in the mid 1890s and the first patients were transferred in from other state institutions in 1899. Ashecliffe was built to alleviate overcrowding in other state institutions but was eventually open for regular admissions too. Like all other public state asylums at the time, Ashecliffe would also suffer from overcrowding but both treatment and the standard of living was one of the best in the state. “Inmates”, as they were classified at the time, enjoyed their days working on the massive farm, landscaping, gardening, or working a trade, all of which were done on the largely self-sufficient campus.

Expansion continued through the 1950s with the construction of a large modern medical building at the front of the property. Not long after, the beginning phases of deinstitutionalization started during the Kennedy presidency of the 1960s, and during the 1970s Ashecliffe started to close some of the buildings as patient population fell. During the early era of deinstitutionalization, new laws were passed that required the inmates to be fairly paid for their labor at the institutions. These new laws would forever change the system and all the farms and free labor at both State Hospitals and State Schools for the Retarded were stopped. During the late 1980s into the early parts of the 1990s most of the states two dozen State Hospitals and State Schools had fully closed or were in the process of even more consolidation. Ashecliffe nearly closed during this time, but due to the work of patients, workers, and residents of surrounding towns the state kept the asylum open. During 2003 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts chose to fully shut down the asylum in favor of group homes and community treatment, thus effectively ending the 104 years of continuous operation.

The property which consists of 30+ buildings including an infirmary, two chapels, a clock tower, tuberculosis wards, a criminally insane ward, cafeteria, recreation hall, nurses dorms, and patient wards. Shuttered for a decade as of 2013, the campus sits abandoned not yet with any idea on what will become of it. In 2012 the large medical building that was built in the 1950s was torn down. Three more buildings including the carriage house, laundry building, and farmers living quarters are scheduled to be demolished at the end of 2013. The state would also like to tear down a dozen of the major buildings on the property, most of which have been vacant since the 1970s. The campus is currently guarded and patrolled 24/7 by a private security group contracted by the state. Technically a public park during daylight hours, the grounds are allowed for walking and photographing from dawn to dusk. Entry to the buildings is strictly prohibited without permission and escorts from the state.

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Kaysen Psychiatric Hospital

The Kaysen Psychiatric Hospital.
Visited in August 2013.

One of the oldest and most renowned psychiatric hospital centers in the country sits within one of the most densely populated megalopolises in the world. The asylum which was founded at the original site in the second decade of the 1800s and in the 1890s opened its new campus, remains in active operation today. On the architecturally significant and large sprawling campus sits a handful of vacant buildings which are largely forgotten and unseen by both passerby’s and patients alike.

Though this was not my first time exploring here, it was for my friend and fellow explorer ChopSuey. Neither of us really have the time to explore like we used to so this was a quick yet fun trip. We met up down the street at a former State Hospital for the insane just down the street and then we ventured over to Kaysen. I have a tendency to show up at active asylums at the worst times and of course this was no different. Since it was a weekday during normal business hours the campus was packed and busy. Having to avoid shift change as well as a couple of campus tour groups, we were very ninja and made it into the “Cod” building with no problem. Paperwork from within as well as the very few artifacts left behind show that this buildings shuttered sometime in the late 1990s. In a changing mental health system caused by deinstitutionalization, the campus closed a number of buildings during the 1990s and sold certain plots to the town for redevelopment.

Currently the facility is ranked #1 in the country for psychiatric care and is known for its treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. It also receives some of the largest grant supports of any hospitals worldwide and also hosts the largest “Brain Bank” in the world.

 

 

 

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Castle on the Hill

While on my vacation this past week I got to finally check out the “Castle on the Hill” a long abandoned health resort, sanatorium, and even psychiatric care facility.

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*Demolition Watch* Final Days of the Iola TB Sanatorium

Sitting in the southeast corner of Rochester, New York sits the Monroe County Tuberculosis Sanatorium more commonly known as Iola. The hospital complex was built between 1911 and 1931 and the sanatorium show down in 1964 and many of the buildings were then used for offices and storage for county departments. In 1999 the county, in an effort to cut costs and consolidate, moved out of the Iola campus. Beginning phases of demolition have begun in August 2013 and the buildings are expected to come down very soon. The Iola campus is to be replaced by a Costco department store.

I had been wanting to see this location for a few years, and I am lucky enough to have taken a vacation and drive the seven hours to Rochester to visit Iola. On August 4, 2013 I explored the campus with a couple of friends from Rochester to see it prior to demo.

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Upon entering the campus and looking here at the largest building still standing you can already see the signs of pre-demo work. Just weeks ago the cement benches were all in a circle along the walkway up to the building.

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