July 22nd, 2013

Callan Park Mental Hospital

Opened in the late 1800's, Callan Park Hospital started out as a pioneering institution for the treatment of the mentally ill in Sydney, Australia. However, after a few years the place soon became pretty grim with a massive overcrowding problem and a lack of funding.

It's a fascinating place, having only recently closed for good in 2008. The main hospital still stands although it now houses an art school, but many of the older buildings have long been abandoned and fallen into disrepair. Most are well and truly closed up with signs warning of asbestos danger, but there were a few places that were still accessible.



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art: nouveau

St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Weyanoke, LA

This was a "plantation church" built in the 1850s for the families of the local plantations to attend. When the highway to the nearest large town (St. Francisville) was built in the 1920s, and as automobile ownership became more common, membership stared to drop, and the church was deconsecrated in the 1940s. There's been some talk of restoring it, and the roof was replaced when a tree fell on it in the 1980s, but I was there in March and didn't see signs of anything being done. I believe there is still one mass every year celebrated there, but I forget what day it is.

It's private property and the road is gated, but no one bothered me while I was there. I parked by the side of the road, slipped through the gate bars (luckily pretty wide), and walked about a quarter of a mile. The church wasn't locked.

This is what it looks like from where I parked:
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I think a group is maybe keeping it up a little, because it seems like otherwise it would have been overrun with vines by now:
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