Cold asylum

New Scientist has a gallery of striking photos taken from Christopher Payne’s book that details his photographic tour of abandoned asylums in the US.

In both the UK and the US, and, I suspect, in many other countries, there are numerous unused decaying mental asylums that have become obsolete as ‘care in the community’ has become the flag under which mental health services have been reformed or ignored.

The NewSci gallery captures the faded grandeur of some of these impressive buildings and has photographs of the devices and technology from a psychiatry of a bygone era.

As we discussed previously, many of the buildings are being converted into hotels, flats and the like with their past history hushed up, but what this photo set shows is that many more beautiful and architecturally unique buildings are simply being left to rot before they’re demolished.

By the way, the website of the book also has a fantastic slideshow with many more stunning photos – only hampered by the crippled flash interface. Look for the ‘Play Slideshow’ link at the bottom to kick it off.

Link to NewSci gallery of old asylum photos.
Link to website of Chris Payne’s ‘Asylum Book’.

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