tb sanatorium part II

women’s pavilion 1909-1911 raymond f. almirall – architect

the colonial revival/spanish mission style building adorned with ceramic tile frieze beneath, what once was a terracotta tiled roof, along with tiles depicting figures of physicians and nurses as well as the eribboned escutcheons, swags, medallions with red crosses and raised scallop shells were made of delft tile, (named after a dutch village delft famous for its tin glazed pottery) using the sectile technique… (more about the history of delft tile)


tuberculosis sanatorium

tuberculosis sanatorium, now a national historic district located in new york, the complex was planned and built between 1905 and 1938 and was the largest and most costly municipal facility for the treatment of tuberculosis of its date in the united states

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insane asylum I

The establishment of state mental hospitals in the U.S. is partly due to reformer Dorothea Dix, who testified to the Massachusetts legislature in 1844, vividly describing the state’s treatment of people with mental illness: they were being housed in county jails, private homes and the basements of public buildings. Dix’s effort led to the construction of the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum, the first asylum built on the Kirkbride Plan.

Kirkbride developed his requirements based on a philosophy of Moral Treatment. The typical floor plan, with long rambling wings arranged en echelon (staggered, so each connected wing received sunlight and fresh air), was meant to promote privacy and comfort for patients. The building form itself was meant to have a curative effect: “a special apparatus for the care of lunacy, [whose grounds should be] highly improved and tastefully ornamented.” The idea of institutionalization was thus central to Kirkbride’s plan for effectively treating patients with mental illnesses.

The asylums tended to be large, imposing, Victorian-era institutional buildings within extensive surrounding grounds, which often included farmland, sometimes worked by patients as part of physical exercise and therapy. While the vast majority were located in the United States, similar facilities were built in Canada, and a psychiatric hospital in Australia was influenced by Kirkbride’s recommendations. By 1900 the notion of “building-as-cure” was largely discredited, and in the following decades these large facilities became too expensive to maintain. Many Kirkbride Plan asylums still stand today. Most are abandoned, neglected, and vandalized, though several are still in use or have been renovated for uses other than mental health care. [excerpt from wikipedia]


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barren island

urban exploration does not end with abandoned buildings… urban abandoned beaches can be just as rewarding… this particular one has an interesting history, in the seventeenth century the dutch settlers built tide mills to grind wheat into flour here, from the nineteenth century to the twentieth century the area has been used in a variety of ways, including manufacturing fertilizer from the remains of dead animals, producing fish oil from the menhaden caught in the bay, and finally a landfill for the disposal of new york city’s garbage… in 1926, much of the salt marsh surrounding this bay and the rest of the island were pumped with sand… this raised the land to 16 feet above the high tide mark connecting the island to the mainland of brooklyn, in order to create new york city’s first municipal airport… unfortunately, due to beach corrosion and instances of bad weather over the decades caused the old landfill to resurface.. leaving the beach littered with old bottles, pottery, shoe soles, animal bone fragments and all sorts of rusted metal household objects among other debris…

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power plant

the architects behind this power plant were charles reed and allen stem, who, along with warren and wetmore, also designed the grand central terminal… in it’s prime days the plant was used to power the ny central and hudson river railroads, the construction of the massive building took only two years (1904-1906) although some other sources cite it at five… the plant was closed in the 1960s when the railroad went bankrupt, in 2008 the plant was deemed as one of the most endangered landmarks in new york state, currently the property is for sale…

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plant research institute

institute for plant research built in 1924, in 1970 the institute leased out the property, in 1997, due to huge property taxes and urban pollution, it was abandoned, currently the property with the former laboratories and greenhouses is being considered for demolition and replacement by low income housing

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farm colony

the new york city farm colony was a poorhouse established in 1829, until 1924 it was required that all residents of the colony had to work — with most of the work involving the cultivation of many varieties of fruits and vegetables, and at various times even grains such as wheat and corn; these crops fed not only the colony’s residents but met the needs of other city institutions as well… until the 1930s, many if not most of the farm colony’s residents were elderly, and at times numbered as many as 2,000; this number steadily declined after the Social Security system was adopted on the federal level in the United States and the programs of the Great Society implemented in the 1960s further depleted its ranks, leading to the facility being closed in 1975… in 1980 the city attempted to sell the property to developers, but environmentalists and many local residents resisted the sale… as a result, in 1982, the city’s Department of General Services was given authority over the land; this agency in turn transferred 25 acres (101,000 m²) to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the remaining 70 acres (283,000 m²) at the site were officially designated a city landmark in 1985; many buildings remain standing at the colony, but have fallen into disrepair and have also been subjected to vandalism [excerpts from wikipedia]

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ship graveyard

established in 1930’s, along new york city’s coastline, this ‘boneyard’ has been a final resting place to hundreds of vessels, some over a century old although about 100 can be spotted now… the ships varied from tug boats, coal barges, fireboats to wwII ships, wooden ferries, and steam vessels made obsolete by diesel fuel…

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