Monday, March 1, 2010

PILGRIM STATE HOSPITAL, I







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Pt. 1 of 4

Although largely abated and empty, the walls of Pilgrim State Hospital are still talking after all these years. And they most certainly should, mind you – especially Building #23 (the central medical/surgical building), within which over 1,000 lobotomies were performed. For more on this, there's a 20/20 2-part series shot at Pilgrim State Hospital that aired in 1992, focusing on lobotomies; their history and effect on the individual. For Pt. 1, go here. Pt. 2, here.

Note: All images in Pt. 1 taken in Building #23, except 3-7 which were taken in #21 (the kitchen).

THE HISTORY: "Opened in 1941, Pilgrim Psychiatric Center was the largest hospital in the world – no facility of any kind has ever exceeded its size. The sprawling complex in Brentwood, NY had its own police force, fire service, courts, post office and cemetery and accommodated over 15,000 patients and staff at its peak, giving rise to its nickname – Pilgrim State." For much more, visit Jacqueline Walker's fascinating "Pilgrim State" website.


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4 comments:

  1. Better to be a visitor with a camera than a patient... must be alot of ghosts wandering those halls. Shades of Shutter Island... Am off to see J. Walker's site...

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  2. Agreed, Owen. 100%. A tough place to have explored when you consider its past, to say the least. Lots of interesting images to come in Pts. 2, 3 & 4.

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  3. I remember as a child visiting my Grandma there. It still haunts me till this day. I remember the sounds as we would go into the ward, the keys, doors opening and closing of the doors, the sounds in the ward, etc. We have come a long way from the 60's.

    Wish I could learn more about why she was in there. Great family secret Family never talked about it. Only know court ordered. Now those that knew are forever silent!!!

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  4. I'm glad you found the images here. Haunting memories, indeed. I wish you all the best in finding out the truth behind your Grandma being instated at PSH. Older generations have a habit of brushing under the rug those things that aren't as pleasant to talk about, you know?

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