Abandoned and Inspiring

Pennhurst, originally uploaded by B.B. Bellezza.
I've written about my love for abandoned and forgotten buildings before here. I love the history about places and I think it's important to remember the history to pass on to future generations. Even more, I think it's irresponsible and wasteful to tear down perfectly good buildings - usually beautiful buildings, in fact - to put up new buildings. Most of the time they just need cleaned up (or the asbestos cleaned out of them) and they can be used again.

Sometimes the history of a building or place isn't pretty. But life certainly isn't always pretty, is it? Such is the case with Pennhurst. Its history is shrouded in abuse and controversy. However, important things came out of its dark past, such as laws about how the mentally ill must be treated.

This facility - old and crumbling as it is - appeals to me on many levels. My education is in Legal Studies, so I'm obviously drawn to the legal ramifications of Pennhurst. I worked for years with people who had mental disabilities, so I am horrified by the stories I've heard. The buildings are beautiful, so the artist side of me is drawn to that.

Each day we drive by fascinating places without giving them a second thought. What interesting place do you want to know more about? Do some research and find out about it!

(My boyfriend and I go on road trips to interesting, mysterious, abandoned, out of the way places all the time. Jim even writes a monthly zine about them called Outta the Way! He wrote all about Pennhurst in our latest zine - Volume 17: Abandoned on the Schuylkill River. You can find out about all kinds of interesting places on his blog or go to his website for links to youtube and facebook as well!)

1 comment:

Wendy Edsall-Kerwin said...

One of my old roommates and a friend snuck in here and took photos when we were in art school. The photos came out really cool, but they both said that the feeling inside was really weird. With all of the past patients and the current homeless squatters, it felt haunted.