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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Danvers State Hospital Redux

building lean2

Danvers State Hospital, one of the most famous (infamous) Kirkbrides, was converted into condos this past year and opened its doors to its new residents. The Kirkbride still looks remarkably the same, still standing, looking out over the hill that was once its kingdom. So here's a modern take on the original Castle on the Hill.

looking up

building lean

exterior with moon


Monday, March 9, 2009

Open and Shut Case

The second installment of Grafton State Hospital became all about the doors and windows. A friend of mine said that one of his favorite aspects of my photography is how I play with light and as I've said before, I've begun keeping that in mind when I shoot. Because there is so very little left in this hospital, my eye was drawn to the doors and windows and the way the sun was flooding through.

When I walked into the day room on the second floor I immediately set my camera up to take this shot. The attic above had collapsed onto the third floor, causing the second floor roof to give way and cause this little mini collapse. Between the sunlight and the puddled water on the tile, this made for a great window shot with a hint of reflection on the floor.

blue drawers
Blue seemed to be one of the dominant colors on this floor and though it was obvious that this shot had been staged previously, I still was not going to pass up such a beautiful shadow play with the open drawers and the light streaming through the window in this linen closet.

isolation view
Each isolation room had a small hole cut into it for the staff to look in on the patients. This struck me as I was walking by and I decided to take a shot that would hopefully transform the otherwise exceptionally plain room into something a little more interesting.

blue room

three white doors

yellow window

linen storage


Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Colors

I rarely have an exploration that turns out to be as productive as this past week but I revisited Grafton State Hospital and took so many photos with which I'm perfectly pleased with that I will have to divide them into two posts!


Grafton was once a satellite farm colony belonging to the Worcester State Hospital but came into its own in the early 1900's.


The hospital is best known for one particular hallway that, when photographed, results in a bright green tinge that prompts most photographers to title it "Green State". This time however, I noticed that some of the other hallways were also rich in yellows, blues, and pinks.

mirror ball

And this last, somewhat off the cuff, avant-garde shot came from one of my exploring partners looking up and noticing the half round mirror at the top of the gated staircase in the newer portion of the building. Getting to the new part was difficult and wound up being quite a workout but all in all, the day was worth it. More to come!

Friday, March 6, 2009

By the Bay

A beautiful, stately home by the water in a small bay town, this residential home for the Deaf has sat empty for quite some time. Damaged badly by a chemical explosion a few years ago, most of the building is still in tact but it seems construction crews have recently swept through and begun removing many elements from the building. It was lovely to see it again and take a few more photos but I have to assume it will be gone relatively soon.

The light fell just right on the beautiful anaglypta wallpaper on the staircase that was painted a lightly blue tinged white.

This shot had obviously been staged by another photographer but it was still a nice shot. The envelopes came from a file closet that once held patient information as far back as the early 1900's.

dark window

roof line

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

As I Sleep in the Snow

window chair
Yesterday was bitterly cold and the biting wind swept snow over every surface but that didn't mean I was going to stay at home. Instead I ventured out to a small institution in Western Mass to show a friend one of the buildings I frequently enjoy shooting. Unfortunately the elements had done quite a bit of damage and many of the floor had collapsed so we had to tread carefully. I did however take a few photos that I was pretty pleased with.

three doors



exit 2



window chair 2