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Awash in Red

Glad to see this in my lifetime.

Posted on 2015.06.28 at 23:27
How Do I Feel?: accomplishedaccomplished


Awash in Red
Posted on 2015.06.15 at 00:08
How Do I Feel?: amusedamused
*Double-posted in the AbandonedPlaces community*



Painted upon the cold tile walls of a subterranean morgue, located in the dark recesses which form the under-structure of an abandoned asylum, can be found a Latin proverb just barely legible on the decaying wall adjacent to the autopsy table. “Let conversation cease. Let laughter flee. This is the place where death delights to help the living.“ Across the property a lavender curtain billows as wind enters in over jagged edges of shattered glass which once comprised a large bay window. Overlooking a landing no one uses. Above an empty lobby. Abutted by hallways echoing the sounds of nothing.

It's mostly all gone now, plowed under by a crew of workers as part of a plan to clean up the immediate area surrounding the still-functioning sections of the Pilgrim Hospital Center. When such places are done away with, especially when care is not properly taken, we often run a real risk of losing our history along with the debris. Like it was with the Hotel Sterling - This place stood but for a relatively brief moment in a state of abandonment, before the plows eventually came to remove it from existence. Unfortunately it is in these short windows of disuse that we find history often becomes most tangible, evoking emotions and interest in those who gaze upon its forgotten form.

This was what remained of the vacated portions of Pilgrim State Hospital in Long Island, NY. What was at one time the largest psychiatric hospital on the globe, with a peak patient population of almost 14,000, came to be little more than a broken collection of buildings dotting the grounds of what is still a partially-operational facility. Undone by modern medicine, and overrun by nature, these massive brick corpses serve as eerie reminders to medicine's darker times. Like so many of the patients who traversed their now empty corridors, these buildings were given numbers to serve as their names. Of all the numbers on these grounds, none holds a history so dark, or so tragic, as the looming edifice named “23”. It was here, on the uppermost floor, in an operating room overlooking the whole of the campus, that prefrontal lobotomies were preformed. Altering the lives of over 1,500 patients from the 1940's through the 1950's.

The operating room had been stripped by scrappers long ago, and weathered by the many years it has sat without use. Its barren and blackened walls enclosed an operating room floor which had come to be flooded with rainwater. Fogged windows cast a mirror image across the wet surface of the floor, the reflection periodically disturbed by small ripples as water dripped off ceiling beams. It's a depressing place, and through the unrelenting forces of time it has finally come to reflect so physically.

The construction of Pilgrim began in 1929, due primarily to severe overcrowding in city asylums. It's design was one of a “farm colony”, an institution based around the ideals of living and working in the open space of what was then rural Long Island. As the title implies; patients were to farm crops and work the land as part of their treatment. Opening October 1, 1931 on some 1,000 acres, Pilgrim housed it's own power plant, post office, police station, fire department, cemetery, water source, and a neighborhood of housing for the doctors and administrative personnel. Most all of which were connected under the sprawl via an intricate system of tunnels and passageways.

As the population grew at Pilgrim, the campus itself began to spread out. In the end the massive property was reaching into four separate townships of Suffolk county; Babylon, Huntington, Islip, and Smithtown. WWII saw several buildings taken for use by the War Department and utilized to aid traumatized soldiers. After the war the population surged at Pilgrim State Hospital, at its highest point the campus saw use by almost 18,000 people; 13,875 of them patients, and approximately 4,000 employees. This massive populous heralded the end of the farm-colony concept, as it withered away in lieu of the more modern medical practices which were gaining traction nationwide, such as electroshock treatments and the previously mentioned prefrontal lobotomies.

Even during the most affluent years for the use of lobotomies, the practice was always seen as controversial. In some documented cases, typically with patients who were severely violent or erratic, the operation had a “calming effect”, making the post-operation patient “quieter”. However in countless other situations it removed the very essence of the individual who received treatment, in effect dehumanizing them. Of course, when we look back with generations of medical advancement between then and now, we see this practice as primitive in form and barbaric in concept. To be in the shoes of a doctor in that time though, would surely reveal a completely different perspective on the matter. You would see thousands of people incapable of keeping from harming themselves and others. You would look to medicine for the answers, only to be greeted with a complete lack of understanding as to the cause and cure for their condition. You hear that a simple operation, hailing from Europe, has the ability to calm those who are unreachable by any other means. The answer would seem clear to you, a miracle treatment.

Time marches on. As the practice becomes mainstream in the United States, and is instated in hospitals nationwide, it becomes more and more typical to use as a crutch than as a cure. Situations obviously vary dramatically from case to case, but somewhere along the line doctors surely must have seen all the moral issues contained in such a method of treatment. Perhaps these doctors were doing the best they could given the tools at hand, but I have to think that surely they knew, if perhaps only one some base level, that what they were doing was wrong.

As mentioned - Pilgrim State Hospital still stands today, but it now goes by the title of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center. Though it has a much different anatomy than it once had. It operates out of about a third of the campus, The farm-colony was sold, renovated, and in 1974 became the Suffolk County Community College's Western Campus. A large portion of the unused acreage was also secured by a developer, who has slowly been leveling buildings. There are still numerous abandoned edifices which endure on the old property, but for how long is anyone’s guess.




Building 23 (now razed) is where most all of the lobotomy procedures took place.

Let laughter flee...Collapse )


Awash in Red

Greystone's Last Stand - 2015 Update

Posted on 2015.03.20 at 14:57
How Do I Feel?: anxiousanxious
We just went live with an update for our film Greystone's Last Stand.
If you can, please share this around. We are really trying to generate public awareness on the matter...





Awash in Red
Posted on 2015.01.12 at 00:04
How Do I Feel?: amusedamused
Christina and I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed for the site "No Such Thing As Was". It was a lovely exchange,
and proved to be a bit more intimate than initially anticipated,in a good way though.
The end result delves pretty deep into our roots in documenting abandoned locations, with a heavy emphasis on "why?"

Click the image to go read the piece...

NSTAW AE


Awash in Red

2K

Posted on 2015.01.08 at 14:09
How Do I Feel?: amusedamused
Thanks internet, for the 2000 YouTube subscribers!



Awash in Red

The Return of Antiquity Echoes

Posted on 2014.12.15 at 01:33
How Do I Feel?: excitedexcited
*Double-posted in the AbandonedPlaces community*
I do hope everyone has kept well here on LJ. It's been ages, so hopefully there's at least a few left that remember me here.
Things have been very quiet over at our website (www.AntiquityEchoes.com) for a good while now. There's only two of us, myself and Christina, and we've just been caught up in projects that we had no time to update our site, or YouTube channel, for many months now. Well... the hiatus officially ends NOW. This is our latest update, and the first of many things that will be coming from Antiquity Echoes in the future. Officially, we are considering this a re-launch. Our updates will continue to broaden in scope as time progresses, and I'm pretty excited with where things are headed, and to share our updates as they are released.



A Victorian era train station sits idly by, as the very city it helped to create ignores and neglects it into oblivion. Where once the rails of this enterprising station ran, can now be found a small strip mall and a McDonalds drive-through. The station itself lies just feet from a busy throughway, yet hardly a glace is given toward it today. The era of it's usefulness has long past, and the only visitors that pay this once lively station any mind are the family of feral cats that now call it home.

Constructed in in 1866, the station's ornate design directly reflected the then-flourishing economy of the large Pennsylvanian city in which it resides. Initially used for the transport of coal, by the early 1900's the Central Railroad of New Jersey took lease of the tracks and transformed the station into a thing of grace. Travel by train had become popular, and the station was redesigned to appeal to more upscale clientele. Hand-carved wooden trim and facades adorned many of the walls, and several fireplaces were constructed to give the interior an air of elegance. Perhaps most notable addition, however, was the installation of a grand curved wooden staircase which spiraled down through the center of the building.

The Great Depression struck the Central Railroad of New Jersey with a crippling blow. The station managed to limp on for years thereafter, but what remained was but a shadow of the former grandeur. By the time Central Railroad of New Jersey was able to get back on their feet, modern automobiles had replaced most all the need for travel by rail. Passenger travel within the city ceased in 1963, and the line shut down for good in 1972. That same year plans began being put together to level the old station, much to the dismay of a local resident by the name of Marvin Roth, who had grown up by the old station.

Marvin Roth purchased the ailing building and property in the late 1970's. He went on to invest millions of dollars in the old station and transformed it into a high class nightclub, restaurant, and hotel. He brought in several rail-cars and had them placed adjacent to the station. Inside these cars he had constructed a hotel setting called the Choo-Choo Inn. The operations at the old station were successful well into the 1980's, at which point the facility was purchased and turned into the Playboy Steakhouse. Unfortunately, the steakhouse proved a failure. Throughout the 1980's and 90's several different businesses tried their hands at the old station, and each one proved short lived. The last business to call the station home was a restaurant and pub by the name of Bananna Joe's. It closed after a short run, in 2005. The name that still reads upon the dust-covered mirrors of the station lobby.

Within the station, behind a veil of filth and animal musk, can still be found the beautiful designs and craftsmanship of years past. Nature has been running it's course through the seasons, and what was once a building of renowned elegance, is now weathering away more and more with each passing year. Ornate woodwork has begun to rot, the floors bulge and sag, and every strong gust of wind rattles the lose facade in a cacophony of noise. However, standing tall in the middle of all this can be found a beautiful curved staircase. It's form still strong, and it's beauty still clear. Almost as if the old railway station is trying to remind you that it was once, not very long ago, a thing of great beauty. Upstairs, the state of decay is similar - The damask wallpaper which runs the corridors has faded to a pale yellow, stains and creeping black mildew spread out as the roof above becomes less and less able to keep the weather at bay. A cool wind blows in through one of the shattered windows.

Just outside the darkened lobby, a small plaque is mounted upon the red brick wall. Though easily overlooked, it is perhaps the most poignant artifact to be found within this rundown station. In plan block letters it proudly and ironically proclaims - “Marvin Roth, a local entrepreneur rehabilitated this edifice so that posterity may forever enjoy its presence.”



Ghost Rails...Collapse )


Awash in Red

Friendly Feral

Posted on 2014.09.23 at 21:27
How Do I Feel?: pleasedpleased
We made anew friend today while out filming an abandoned train station. He was very friendly, but not into being pet... he also had one and a half eyes.
Grabbed this shot with my phone.


Awash in Red

The Ghost of Lambertville

Posted on 2014.09.07 at 22:15
How Do I Feel?: accomplishedaccomplished
*Double posted in the Abandonedplaces community*



Lambertville High School was demolished in the autumn of 2012. Today the small patch of forest where it once stood bears few reminders of the old school, or that it had eerily overlooked the town in a state of abandonment for over fifty years. Though now gone, the stories from Lambertville are still very much alive, mostly recounted in the form of hushed tales told around campfires.

Like many buildings that have fallen into decay, there were numerous urban legends that surrounded the old school. However, none were more prominent than the tale of “Buckeye”. The story goes that the Buckeyes football team, from New Hope, PA were playing a game against Lambertville High. During the game, the Lambertville team dog-piled a Buckeye player named Billy. When the Lambertville team dispersed to allow the Buckeye player up, it was discovered that the boy was dead. Most stories claim he had broken his neck, and that his head was turned completely around on his sprawled corpse. It was said Billy haunted the halls of the school from that day on, even after its closure and eventual abandonment. The tale claims that if you stand in the abandoned school at night and say “Billy, I challenge you to a football game.” that you would have your neck snapped.

Football players aside, there is indeed an imposing presence to be found in that forest atop the hill. The phantom of an abandoned school so ingrained in local legend and New Jersey lore that the tearing-down of its physical form did little to remove it from society’s collective consciousness. What follows is the history of Lambertville High School, in memoriam.

Lambertville High School, originally constructed in 1854 on a hilltop overlooking the town of the same name, enjoyed a pleasantly uneventful existence until 1926, when a fire devoured substantial portions of the original schoolhouse. The following year, it was rebuilt and remodeled, and would continue to see service until June of 1959, when the completion of the larger, modern South Hunterton Regional High School pushed it into obsolescence. The vacant edifice remained perched firmly on its hilltop for another 30 years, overlooking the growing town and the unchanging blue ribbon of the Delaware, until vandals set a fire in 1992 that ripped through the structure and destroyed the entire roof.

Approaching the school in its abandoned state, it was clear that the forest has reinstated itself as grounds warden. Whatever lawn there once was had been completely absorbed by the wood, and everywhere trees pressed close against the decaying red brick walls. The building itself was traveling down the road to total collapse, with only its reinforced concrete floors and fire-proof stairways providing a skeleton to support the decaying carcass of the construction. Entering through the torn doors, one was immediately greeted by the familiar smell of decomposition. This, though, is in some ways a different odor than one finds in most of forgotten places; This is an ancient rot: the subtle, musty perfume of a place where everything compostable has long since turned to dirt. Save for the largest structural members and the last disappearing sections of wall, nothing remained. It was difficult to even see this place for what it once was, to imagine the sound of children in what now look more like caverns than hallways. The interior perpetually dim, bound by windowless hallways and an all-surrounding forest canopy.

Climbing the stairwell, leaving the abyss of sunless hallways below, one emerges to a surreal vision, as they step onto the floor of a forest that had taken root three stories above the ground. The school’s roof, burned and collapsed for almost twenty years ago, had become a rich bed of topsoil on what was once the third floor. Ivy, bushes, and even full-size trees flourished under the open sky of the upper story. Wandering through this young wood, one might forget that the ground lay far below, at least until happening upon a window...


Forest of the Fallen...Collapse )


Awash in Red

Mallrats

Posted on 2014.09.03 at 13:30
How Do I Feel?: excitedexcited
Tags: ,
Christina and I recently drove many (many) miles to document a massive abandoned shopping mall.
I'm not disclosing any details yet, but consider the following image a teaser of sorts...



Awash in Red

Greystone's Last Stand

Posted on 2014.08.11 at 23:31
How Do I Feel?: accomplishedaccomplished
*Double-posted in the AbandonedpLaces community*

Hello all. It has been ages since I've posted here, or on my own personal journal for that matter. So long in fact that I am just now getting over being flustered by the LJ redesign. I think I dig it, but change scares me...

Anyway, the reason I haven't been posting terribly much is NOT because I lack material to share (I'm sitting on top of so many locations that I'm stoked to post), but because Christina and I have taken on an admittedly daunting cause. We've aligned ourselves with the organization Preserve Gravestone, in an attempt to stall or change the state of New Jersey's plans to demolish the abandoned Greystone Park Psychiatric Center in Parsippany, NJ. We knew of no better way to get the public's attention than through film, so we set out to create a short public-awareness piece. It very quickly snowballed into a full fledged film, forcing us to learn a boatload of stuff about filming, making us purchase some new equipment, and stealing countless hours of our sleep. Christina and I have been looking to grow for a while now, to take our passion for Urban Exploration and do something different, it just wasn't until recently that we saw the opportunity to do so. To say the project and the learning curve involved has been difficult would be a terrible understatement, however it has also been an incredibly rewarding and and often humbling experience. We've just now wrapped up and went live with a 15-minute "extended preview", so I figured it was a good time to announce the film here, in this community.

It seems like a natural progression for us really - In a way its melded my writing, Christina's filming, and our collective editing and style into a singular piece. We truly hope this film will help change the states course, but obviously that's wishful thinking. Still, the video has garnered 1,500 views over just it's first weekend, without really being posted anywhere (looking to get media coverage shortly, which should really help) so we know people are looking and care. That all being said, consider this post my formal return to LJ.

~Rusty

Below I have embedded the video, but before that I will post the video's description off of the YouTube channel.
*Video narrated by Mark Moran of Weird NJ

The sprawling Greystone Psychiatric Hospital sits on a hilltop in Parsippany, NJ. It was constructed there well over 100 years ago, opening in the summer of 1876. At the time of its completion Greystone was the largest singular building in the entire country, and held that title until the Pentagon was completed in 1943. The enormous facility was constructed following the Kirkbride plan. Named after Thomas Story Kirkbride, it was a model of psychiatric hospital that featured large wings of wards stretching outward from a center point, which was often the main entrance and administrative area of the facility. Though often seen as eerie places, these old asylums were actually built with the best of intentions for the patients. Yes the sprawl of these wings may seem imposing to an outsider, but they were purposely created narrow to allow patients constant window views and plentiful sunlight. Since the wards were indeed slender in design, they had to make them exceedingly long in order to allow adequate room for the thousands of people living here. Today the grand old hospital stands abandoned, as it has been since 2008.

The state of New Jersey now seeks to demolish this majestic building to create open space. This is to be done at an estimated expense of some $50 million in taxpayer funding. Several groups have already come forward and presented plans to the state, all with great interest in preserving and reusing the entirety of the old Greystone Psychiatric Hospital, and the funding to back their projects. However, for reasons that still have yet to be properly explained, the state has chosen to forgo all of the proposed plans for redevelopment, and instead wish to raze the entirety of the building.

If we lose Greystone it will not only be a terrible blow to national history, architectural preservation, and environmental accountability, but it will be a great disservice to future generations who will never be allowed to experience this monument to architectural engineering and psychiatric medicine. "Greystone's Last Stand" will follow the story of Greystone Psychiatric Hospital as it unfolds.

Please, if you like what we're creating here, share it around. We want word to spread about the state's plan to level the old hospital. The demolition of Greystone will be an event universally regretted by future generations. What we have, sitting abandoned in New Jersey, is a historical gem. Something to be celebrated, not destroyed.



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