Category: upstate new york

ianference:

This is probably the first photograph I ever took of this grand hallway in the brick wards of Buffalo State Hospital, near sunrise on my first site visit; on every trip I made into the building, I came across this fire hose, which on future visits became more and more uncoiled.  It is a lovely hallway which I haven’t seen in nearly a decade; I wish I could make a return visit, but sadly, this is out of the question since the hotel is now open for business.

Print available here.

ianference:

Grand staircase in the Administration area of the Kirkbride building at Hudson River State Hospital during nautical twilight, with nearly-full-moon light shining in through the window.  With civil twilight over before I could get this shot perfectly composed, I decided to guess on a 15 minute exposure for the final shot of the day, with the blue-hour light mixing with the moonlight – and this is what came out.  This 1867 Frederick Clarke Withers building is mostly in horrible shape, but this particular section has held up rather well in the past 147 years.

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Lounge in lobby area of the Hotel Columbia in the semi-abandoned resort town of Sharon Springs, NY.

Small prints here.  Contact me for limited editions.

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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.

ianference:

Violent ward hallway in the main complex at St. Lawrence State Hospital, used to store a variety of colored desk chairs when the asylum was abandoned.

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