Wednesday, February 08, 2006



This is one of my favorite old buildings. It was built at the turn of the century. A mental Institution. Its walls have housed many a tortured soul over the decade. It has elegant lines and its former grace still shows. Although covered in moss and vines, the coloumns and verandas speak of proud architectural detail.
The building was closed in the late 8o's and has been left to ruin ever since. It now resembles a haunted house, something from a horror movie. In fact that is the only use this place now sees is as a film site for movies and some TV shows. Remember The X Files? It filmed many an episode here.

I am glad I wasnt around in those early days. Before the better psych drugs had been formulated. Stories of crowded wards, lobotomies and straight jackets reveal the brutality of nursing the mentally ill 100 years ago. It was only in the middle of the last century that drugs started being used to calm the savage beast of schizophrenia. And the side effects of those early meds were very harsh.

Although todays drugs do still have side effects, the majority of patients are able to lead normal lives, and relatively few ever need see the inside of an institution. But when they do, at least conditions are more humane than they were back then. Less crowded and more dignified treatments. Settings that are less like jails. These huge , impersonal institutions no longer have a place in our society. But I do believe there is a need for secure care for some of the most chronicly ill. Sadly some people are resistive to medical therapy. No ammount of medication makes a difference for a small percentage of the scizophrenic population.

Our Government is trying to close down what is left of Mental Hospitals in the Province. Aiming to have all residential settings, group homes , etc. The idea is wonderful for those who are stable on meds. But I have seen people, who with even the best care available remain ill, tortured souls. Without secure care, these persons are at risk.


10 comments:

Karen said...

WOOHOO!! I'm in! No weird forwarding. Wow, I love the pics. So much history and I can see why you like the building. It's beautiful.

Have a good day! *HUGS*

carol said...

The patients are fortunate to be in the hands of loving people like you, to care for them day in and day out, it must truly brighten there lives.

FTS said...

I love old buildings with a history. They're so much fun when the artifacts are still around to see.

David said...

I love that old building - I wish I could afford to buy it and turn it into a hotel retreat.

Simply Coll said...

What an amazing old building. It seems kind of sad that it has not been maintained.

I agree with your comments on mental illness. The newer drugs are wonderful but not everyone benefits from their use. For those that do.. they are life changing and life enhancing.

John said...

Some of those folks shouldn't be out of those hospitals, others will thrive out of them. There was a similar hospital closed here in the eighties too, they were all taken to different group homes as far as I know.

The building itself should be made into a hotel or aregular hospital?? Nice looking building.

Monica said...

You know, I think you're a good writer...you had me "there" while I was reading this post.

ddddddddddddddddddddd said...

I love that old place. I worked there as an electrician many years ago on a contract renovation. It seems almost spooky sometimes, so I know why X-Files would choose to film there.

Glad they have such fine people as you to care for them and make their lifes a bit better.

Hugs, love and prayers

Bobbie said...

That is a beautiful building and I bet the walls have lots of stories to tell. They sure have made advancements in the treatment of people with mental disabilities. And with caring people like you looking after them, the patients are treated with dignity.

Hope you are enjoying this sunny week. Take care.

P.S. I was at Lon*don Drugs around 3:30PM and not noon so that must have been my twin you saw....lol!

Fred said...

I wonder why no one would want to restore this gem? Sure, it has a history of housing disturbed people, but it looks beautiful.