ianference: The Maples Building at Willard State Hospital is a…


The Maples Building at Willard State Hospital is a treasure-trove of forgotten artifacts, relics from the past strewn about the 1872 building that was designed for patients who were never meant to leave the asylum system.  Originally known as the New York State Asylum for the Chronic Insane, Willard was the “end of the line” in the New York asylum system – the place where they sent patients that were expected to show no signs of recovery; to live out the rest of their lives in buildings such as this.  Thus, the asylum expanded rapidly.  Four miniature Kirkbride-style buildings were built shortly after the full sized Kirkbride, Chapin Hall, demolished in the 80s.  Maples was the first of these.  Now, it has been abandoned for ages, and it appears they left in a hurry.  A barber’s chair still sits in the room where patients could get a cut; coats still hang on coatracks upstairs, and geriatric chairs have been piled up in one of the first-floor dayrooms.  Here, around the corner from that dayroom, a broken hairdryer chair has been collecting dust for decades.  As it does not appear that there is any hurry to demolish Willard, it will likely collect dust for decades more.

Prints available here.