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…. As the law provides that we are to care for epileptic and feeble-minded persons, and as the training for both is along similar lines, it has been thought advisable to classify both feeble-minded and epileptics into groups, separating them only with distinct and suitable buildings ….. Excerpt from the Year 1912 by Charles S. Little – Superintendent of Letchworth Village
In September of 2009, I decided to explore Letchworth Village, an abandoned facility that housed the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and those with conditions that at the time were felt to be a detriment to society. Letchworth Village is located near Thiells, New York, and was opened in 1911 and closed in 1996. It has been abandoned ever since, and while a small handful of the buildings are being used for other purposes, the vast majority of them have been slated for demolition.
I should probably mention that it is NOT recommended that you visit as doing so exposes you to peeling lead paint, asbestos, and, according to rumor and urban legend, diseases that have been not been seen in decades, having eradicated through the wonders of modern medicine. Despite these risks, and strange stories that go along with just about any other asylum, I decided to go ahead and explore one of the many buildings still standing on this site.
This photo was taken on the top floor of one the building I explored. The red biohazard bag in the middle was just one of many that were scattered everywhere.
You can’t see it in the photo, but next to the bathtub was a chain bolted to the wall; I’m guessing it was used to restrain patients while they were bathing.
One of many patient rooms, each with a roll-away bed and a chair. For some strange reason, every patient room I visited had a chair facing the window.
A collection of puppy pictures was pasted on a discarded desk ledger. This was just one of the many relics left behind by the occupants.
This video was made by someone who lives close enough to explore far more buildings than I had allotted time for. It is included here because I feel it captures the urban exploration experience in ways that my photographs could not.
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