September 16th, 2010

belchertown state 2

belchertown state school!!

i went to belchertown state school today! someone else did a great photo set a bit down the page, you should check theirs out too. i went to after-kindergarten club in one of the newer buildings there and we used to walk around the campus so it is really amazing to go back now that i go to college nearby. if you live in the area it is perfectly acceptable to go out there and walk around and i highly recommend it.



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The Carmine Complex (alias)




The Carmine Complex (alias) first opened it's doors to the public in 1896.
It's design was aimed towards changing health care from the old methods of seclusion and restraint,
to a more independent-living situation. To better achieve this purpose, the campus consists of numerous smaller structures,
occasionally referred to as “cottages”, in place of the standard large hospital buildings that were traditionally used.
During it's time Carmine became nationally recognized as a model hospital for the care and treatment of the mentally ill.

As time passed by, the complex became more and more popular. As needed additional buildings were constructed for the campus, to the point where Carmine were less a hospital center,
and more a stand-alone township. It had come to grow it's own food, house it's own independent security force, and run all of it's utilities by generating it's own power. At the facility's peak it cared for over 3,500 patients on it's rural grounds.



Sadly, present day finds the campus as more-or-less a ghost town.
The few buildings that still remain in use offer specialized psychiatric care, which is provided to about 700 patients annually.
With all necessary services properly run out of but a few buildings, long gone is the need for an entire town.
This leaves the many buildings of the hospital center sealed, and without a purpose.
It's obvious that some of these places were indeed reused at one point in time, for some purpose or another.
Regardless of this fact though, most now sit silent and empty.

“Empty” is a key descriptor when referring to the facility, and one that was often repeated to myself while there.
Little remains within these red brick walls than floors, ceilings, windows, and more walls.
There are many buildings on the campus that I did not get a chance to visit, but if they are anything like the numerous ones which I did photograph,
they are merely empty shells that house empty rooms.
I found hardly a scrap is left behind to remind me that this place was once a great hospital, one who's reputation was known across the land.
Instead what I am faced with here are rooms full of nothing, with halls that lead me to more of it.





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