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Keep on Rockin – Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Located in the hills of Weston West Virginia is the former Weston State Hospital, now known as the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Construction started in 1858 and the complex did not open until 1861. This old Kirkbride structure is one of the largest hand-cut masonry buildings in the United States. I have visited this place a number of times, including overnight stays. The main building is just awesome, the Kirkbride architecture is amazing inside and out and the complex is huge for being located in such a small town. They currently have tours on the weekends and I believe they still have photo tours as well which get you into other outbuildings on the grounds. Last time I was there they cleaned up the main building quite a bit, making it a bit drab and boring but the outbuildings still had quite a bit of character.

The facility was originally designed to hold 250 patients in solitude, by 1880 there were over 700 and by the 1950’s it reached its maximum of over 2,600 with deplorable conditions inside the facility. The Asylum remained open until 1994 when the doors were closed for good, since then the Asylum has sat vacant until the building was auctioned in 2007.

This shot was looking down the long hall  in one of the hospital wings, nice dramatic lighting and shadows make for an interesting feel. I could not imagine this place being filled with over 2.500 patients, a very disturbing thought of what this place wa probable like in its final days. It is a great place to shoot though and well worth a visit if you are in the area, just a drive by this mammoth structure is a treat.

Thanks for stopping!





This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I love the light and all the shadows. What a terrific image Mike.

  2. Great angle. Definitely want to make it over there sometime.

  3. Good Lord, Mike, what an amazing shot. So much artistic tension here, you can’t help but pine to know about the stories that these walls now hold secret.

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