Monday, March 30, 2015

Left to Die

Does it kill you like it kills me? see these once beautiful buildings left to die?
Grand Entrance
Edited in Topaz Impressions 

The majority of the buildings on the Norristown State Hospital property are 
vacant and deteriorating.
Another Brick in the Wall
The Acute Admissions Building #17

They are owned by the state, 
so that explains a lot.
Building 17 
Edited with Topaz Impressions

Originally known as the
State Lunatic Hospital of Pennsylvania,
Norristown State Hospital continues to serve psychiatric patients today.

In it's day (1880s- mid 1900s) this hospital offered:  
a library
various clubs
electrical systems 
a pathological laboratory 
an assembly hall 
a theater 
a dancing hall 
cottages for special needs or interests 
industrial shops for residents to hone their skills 
beds for 5,000 (today 150 are occupied) 
the first female physician superintendent 
modern medical care
Peeking Inside 

While I would love to step inside and see these old sights
common sense...and the signs... say "Keep Out." 
The floors are collapsing - 
so looking inside the windows is all that is recommended.
Rapunzel's Window 

And you'll need a permit,
otherwise the staff or security will ask you to leave.
Waiting for the Bull Dozer

I don't know what plans there are for these buildings,
but in the current state
I don't see much possibility other than a bull dozer
in their future.

Norristown State Hospital
1001 Sterigere St, Norristown, PA 19401 
(610) 313-1000

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MadSnapper said...

it is sad to see buildings like this.. this one doesn't appear to be salvageable now. much to late. your photos are as always fantastic. i loved the peek in the door and Rapunzel window....

Mersad said...

Oh wow. What an interesting place. Amazing photography as usual Rebecca. I hope the bull dozer will not be its future, since it's such a stunning building.

Mersad Donko Photography

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Very arresting photos, Rebecca! Knowing the history of this place, I imagine it would be hard to find a buyer.....perhaps it is best that this place is put to rest. I see many wonderful salvage opportunities, though. xo Karen

Wayne said...

I had no idea you could 'tour' the facilities, do you get a permit from the security office? Awesome pix with just the right amount of HDR.

Tamar SB said...

You captured some amazing photos of the buildings! So sad that it's been left to decay, but an interesting commentary on it I suppose...

Sarah Huizenga said...

You know this kills me. I am so thrilled that our Asylum is being saved in Traverse City. I was just there a couple of weeks ago, and more renovation continues. I HATE to see these places lost to the bulldozer.

Claudia W | ImagesByCW said...

Oh how I'd love to take photos there. I love old architecture, just love it. We had an old asylum here from the same timeline (Greystone Park) and it was a long, long fight, but in vain. It got torn down. So, so sad. Want to make it a date, get some permits and go for a photo shoot in yours?

Linda Kay said...

Some of those State Institutions had horrible stories to be told. It does make me sad to see an old building left empty and deteriorating. How did the Europeans manage to keep so many beautiful buildings for hundreds of years, and we can't?

NCSue said...

Though we live in North Carolina now (and for 30+ years), I was born in Norristown and well remember the state hospital. It's sad to see how it's deteriorated. Like you, I can only envision a bulldozer now - it would take a fortune to restore it. You're to be commended on your photography, though.
Please come share your photos at

abrianna said...

You captured the buildings well.

Kim Cunningham said...

Very cool buildings! Would love to photograph people there. Did you go with Kathy or just great minds?

Stephanie 139a said...

Oh my, that's such a shame - but on the other hand I"m sure the shots of a living building would be less dramatic. #lifethruthelens

Adrienne said...

Wow. I'll say the same thing I said to Kathy - seeing buildings like this makes me wish I had a gajillion dollars and could hire my dad (Architect) to work with me on a restoration plan! Few things awaken my imagination like beautiful old buildings! LOVE these!

Molly said...

Ohhh I just got Topaz Simplify, now I think I might want Impressions too.


Tom said...

Many of these institutions have been left to die. Now many former residents live on the street. An improvement? Tom The Backroads Traveller

21 Wits said...

Oh yes it does, and so often it's such a shame when it can be brought back to life, for other uses as well! Your captures are so lovely, each photo begs the question what stories do your walls have to tell!

Kmcblackburn said...

Haha...well, great minds, right?!?!!? I shot mine back in the Autumn and never got around to posting til I was thinking about "Another Brick in the Wall". Fun place to shoot, ,so much detail and texture to take in. Photographing Building #17 this time of year really adds a starkness to the surroundings. Thanks for linking up to Song-ography Becky.

carol l mckenna said...

Excellent photography and yes it is sad to see deterioration rather have someone revitalize these beautiful buildings ~ yet you have created beauty in your photos ~

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

HansHB said...

Beautiful b&w post!
Happy Easter to you!
My post at:

Ida said...

So eerie and hauntingly beautiful.

CountryMouse said...

What a beautiful building and what sights it must have seen. It is a shame to see old buildings decaying, something should be done to preserve them and put life into them. It would be a lot of work to fix up but then it could be used for something. Lovely and haunting pictures. I love your creative tangled shot.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, I hate it too. I feel like so much of our architectural history is just falling apart. Sad. But, it is terrific that you captured this before it is gone. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic photos!

doodles n daydreams said...

I would say this was once a magnificent building, the facade is so imposing.


A Colorful World said...

I KNOW! It makes me very sad...someone needs to love these old buildings and bring them back to life again. I adore "Rapunzel's window"....ooooh, great shot! Beautiful photos of a sad phenomenon.

betty-NZ said...

I always want to save places like this, too. Your photos are really awesome and will be a great way to remember it.

Diana said...

Love your photographs. They really capture the essence of the place--its abandonment and stillness. You have a wonderful talent.

Liz Needle said...

So sad to see these old institutions falling into disrepair. Your shots really capture the desolation and utter sadness of the place.