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Report - Riverside State Hospital, New York, USA 09/01/08

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by kts262, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. kts262

    kts262 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    This place is high on the list of "must see" places for many explorers. Until a year or so ago access was a breeze but they began to crack down. It's still doable, but you have to watch out for an over eager caretaker, neighbors, and police. Unfortunately abotu a week before we came the caretaker locked almost all of the doors between ward sections making access more tricky, especially since large sections of the building have collapsed floors. We weren't able to see everything but it was still a trip well worth it, even if I did complain most of the way to the hospital. We parked a half mile away from the site in a sketchy spot, the entire time I was worried my car was being keyed or worse yet, towed. It had snowed a before we got there and the top layer of snow and turned into thick ice, making the trek long and slippery. It also made it noisy so I was on edge the entire time worried that we might alert the caretaker of our arrival. Luckily we pulled it off and had the place to ourselves.


    Some History:

    This insane asylum, as it was once called, sits hidden amidst green rolling hills, with a grand view of the mountainous landscape and a river running nearby. The main building on the campus is a gothic-revival style Kirkbride design, where male and female patients are separated by the two wings on either side of a central administration section.

    Construction began in 1868, and finished in 1871. A unique revision to the Kirkbride design was that because of a lower expectance of female patients than male, the female wing was built at almost half the size of the male wing - the original design calls for a symmetrical building.

    The Kirkbride had to be modernized as running water, fire escapes and other new technologies were worked into building codes, making the basements a nightmarish maze of pipes and wires squeezing into the spaces of the old design. The state hospital eventually expanded to over 100 buildings, the largest of which is a nine story building that looms in front of the Kirkbride, and the facility was treating over 6,000 patients at it's peak. All the patients were eventually moved out of the Kirkbride sometime around the mid 1970's, and the wards have since fallen into major disrepair. Administration was still used however, until around 2001 when the property went up for sale and was eventually sold to a developer.

    In June 2007, the larger male wing had caught fire, destroying much of this section of the building. The cause was determined to be lightning, as the lightning rods had been removed during renovation. The future of the building is now uncertain.

    Nothing like starting off the day with some Southern Comfort
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    Let the colors shine on through
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    Cramped
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    Windows
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    The Wobbly Room
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    Sinks of Darkness
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    Damage Control
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    Godbeams
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    King of the Castle
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    Male ward hallway
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    That sinking feeling
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    Horse Mittens!
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    Home is where the Hearth is
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    Female ward hallway
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    June '76
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    NO SMOKING
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    Buttons!
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    Operation
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    Orange
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    Rubble
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    Boring sink shot
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    Washing out
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    This thread needs more wheelchair
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    Cave in
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    girtrood likes this.

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