Come One, Come All... (dark_fetus) wrote in abandonedplaces,
  • Mood: amused

Letchworth Village

Letchworth Village

In 1909 the state of New York built
a facility for the aid and housing of the "feeble minded and epileptics"
Named after William Pryor Letchworth,
a key player in the creation of the facility and noted humanitarian of the time.

The grounds were set up in a college campus style.
Building were kept relatively small, and typically did not exceed two-stories tall.
They were all located within a relatively short walk of each other.
They all shared the hand-cut stone, arched-window, and stone column "Greek" aesthetic as well.

A large stream ran through the campus,
it served as a divider between male and female patients.
Letchworth Village also housed it's own power plant, farmland, waste disposal, and water supply.
Making it the first all-inclusive facility of it's kind.

Of the research performed there, one of the most note-worthy was the
development of the polio vaccines used in the Congo by Dr. Hilary Koprowski.
It was revealed that he had been the first physician to preform a polio vaccine on humans.
Those humans were twenty "mentally deficient" patients of Letchworth Village...

In the 1960's and into the 1970's Letchworth
Village began to badly suffer from overcrowding.
The then local reporter Geraldo Rivera created a documentary about the sad condition
in which many United States psychiatric hospitals found themselves.
Touching on issues such as over-crowding, neglect, and abuse...
It was titled: "The Last Great Disgrace"
Segments of the documentary were even filmed at Letchworth Village.
It was later turned into a nationally-aired documentary by ABC.

As expected, the public outcry from this was sizable.
This, coupled with the nations shift toward mental care on a smaller scale
(Such as group-homes, which is what ended a lot of these facilities lives)
resulted in the slow re-distribution of the patients of Letchworth Village.

In 1997 the last of the residents was relocated,
and the power was forever cut to the campus.

Video filmed by Christina,
edited by me...

Sorry about the image quality on some of the pics, I did not have my tripod with me.
Also, my apologies to anyone who thinks I used LJ-cut too late,
I tried to make the pre-cut entry as short as possible
and still include the history and one pic...

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