Why do abandoned buildings decay
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When Ference post photographs of mental asylums that have been shoved aside and left to rot, he is reminding us of the history of mental health in the United States.
Through these images, we are studying not the other, not bygone eras, but ourselves, recording ourselves, our lives, and the structures we left behind for future generations. And, Harrison and Schofield note, autoarchaeology has a low barrier to entry; when archeology is as simple as documenting buildings you can travel to without the hassles of excavation, anyone willing to risk traveling inside those buildings with a camera can be an archaeologist documenting this modern era.
Harrison and Schofield also use the term “rescue archaeology” for actions that document aspects of our culture that are in danger of being lost. In cases where buildings are demolished or allowed to fall apart in obscurity, modern ruin photography can fill in the potential gaps, can provide future archaeologists and anthropologists with a record that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
And the truth is that it’s not just future historians that can benefit from this sort of documentation. Even photographs of buildings abandoned just decades or years ago have a great deal to teach us about our present — and photographs of mental institutions are an excellent illustration of this.
In the U. Notably, many of the building erected in keeping with the Kirkbride plan also called the linear plan , according to the advocacy of Philadelphia psychiatrist Thomas Story Kirkbride, are no longer in use, so that in modern times, we only see them in their decayed state. Photo of main entrance of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, which was built according to a linear plan, by Forsaken Fotos. Wertz has found that these asylums provide a wealth of information, much of which we don’t necessarily see in photographs:.
One of the most fascinating aspects of exploring asylums is old, discarded patient files, in which I get to see the evidence of the science I’ve read about. It’s one thing to read an entire book about the misunderstandings of mental illness and it’s another thing entirely to read an interview between a patient and doctor that happened over years ago, and to see in the doctor’s actual handwriting how he incorrectly interpreted the patents symptoms, not out of malice but out of misunderstanding.
It’s common knowledge that people were often committed erroneously back then, and reading the admission files and interviews is going directly to the source and seeing the evidence of it right there in front of me, [instead of] second hand in a book or a crowd sourced wikipedia article.
And those discoveries, and illicit occupation of the spaces,are what make exploring it so addictive. It’s uncharted territory, even if countless other urban explorers have been there before me. There is always stuff no one has found and new places to get into. But considering the architecture and history of these abandoned asylums can offer an appreciation for this era in mental health history, as well as a critique of our modern approaches to mental health care.
I will confess that I am wholly guilty of focusing on the spookier elements of asylums built in the 19th century, but Ference notes that this does a disservice to the fuller history of these institutions, which were actually conceived in optimism. In his essay “On Ruin Porn,” Ference points out that mental institutions are particularly vulnerable to being presented in a sensational and exploitative light.
Unlike many modern ruin photographers, Ference became involved in documenting decaying buildings because he saw buildings that he loved in danger of being destroyed or ignored, and he wanted to create a record of both their architectural features and the intention behind their architectural features. In an interview, he told us:. But there are classes of buildings, insane asylums, tubercular sanatoriums, that just the entire class of buildings that aren’t needed any more. You have architectural styles that played a fundamental role in the history of this nation at one point in time that simple don’t exist any more.
For example, the linear plan asylum, they haven’t built one since , so more than years, and they’ll never build one again. And so, seeing how that fits into the cultural tapestry of the ethos of the day in terms of psychiatric health care is fascinating.
He notes that, while the asylum system was by no means perfect, that demonizing the asylum risks ignoring the optimistic intentions behind the asylums, and ignoring the current system that institutionalizes many mentally ill individuals:.
I try to shy away from the notion that there’s anything creepy about these places. They’re actually quite remarkably peaceful and beautiful. I guess if there’s a message, it’s not that they’re creepy, it’s the story of people doing the best they could prior to the advent of chlorpromazine, or, as it’s commonly known, thorazine, in helping to control schizophrenia and bipolar and whatnot, psychotic axis disorders. And there’s a definite sense of optimism in the architecture, particularly of the 19th century asylums.
If there’s a contemporary message, and a sort of sad note to these places, it’s that they were abandoned in an era where they attempted to push people out into the community before they were perhaps even ready. There’s one asylum in Romulus, New York, that’s known as the Willard State Asylum for the Chronic Insane, and this was a New York State asylum where patients who were never expected to leave the asylum system were sent.
The expectation was that they were going to spend the rest of their lives in this facility. And very suddenly, in the ’80s, this place was very rapidly divested of its patient population, many of whom, after 40 years in the asylums, their entire adult lives—in many cases having been sent in their early teens—they were sent out into the community and expected to function, having no idea how society worked. And that was a mistake. The institutionalization was done poorly.
What has happened now is that the prisons, the prison system in America, has become the asylum system. Over 40 percent of incarcerated individuals within the prison system have severe mental illness.
And they’re not being treated, because it’s not a hospital environment. It’s a punitive environment. To that end, Ference gives lectures on his works, explaining the history behind the sites he photographs, and is currently writing a monograph on the asylum in Buffalo. You can also see his most recent photography through his SmugMug gallery. And he laments the destruction of these buildings as a loss of our cultural legacy. The interplay between a myopic society’s wanton destruction of beautiful architectural forms in the midst of a society that would never consider burning a Picasso for no reason, and one man’s efforts to thwart these efforts through photography and vigorous preservation efforts through the city of Chicago.
Ference seeks to preserve the history of these abandoned asylums, which are so often neglected precisely because of the purpose they once served:.
The sad part is, America is a new country in the grand scheme of things, and we don’t have 14th-century villas and 12th-century castles. We only have a few hundred years’ worth, really, of architectural history.
But the interesting thing is that in certain cases, especially in asylums and sanatoriums to treat pulmonary tuberculosis, there was almost a conscious effort to delete these places from history because these places aren’t light and happy. There’s a sort of stigma attached to the institutions and to the patients who resided within them. So where we might not consider tearing down H. Richardson’s state capitol in Albany, there certainly was a hard-fought campaign to even preserve his asylum in Buffalo, which was really his masterpiece, because it was an asylum, not city hall.
By documenting the buildings that have been swept under the rug and appreciating the history and architecture behind these images, Ference argues that we get a much fuller picture of our own history, which we risk abbreviating:.
We wouldn’t whitewash over history if people were aware of the full scope of it, which they’re not. We see the portrayals of asylum the in movies, and it’s almost uniformly they were torture shacks or electroconvulsive therapy, there were straight jackets, and so on, but you don’t see that that was a minority of cases and in general, these buildings were designed with the height of optimism and frankly with a great deal of money. The New York State Asylum in Buffalo was the most expensive building when it was built, most expensive state building.
So there’s two sides to this story. And even if there wasn’t, you look at Germany, and you look at the fact that Auschwitz and Birkenau and all those places, all the concentration and extermination camps were turned into monuments and memorials. And then you consider that, without much of a word or much resistance, the asylums are torn down because it’s just easier than having that conversation.
Presumably they used better concrete. I doubt the buildings in Hashima would be falling down if the walls were three feet thick for every eight feet high. According to the Japanese version of the wikipedia article, one of the 7-story apartment buildings Block 30 was built in , and is the first concrete high-rise apartment building built in Japan. Because of the poor quality it deteriorated rapidly, and was renovated in by adding new concrete. The largest apartment building Block 65 was built in This coastal defense bunker in NJ has been in trouble due to erosion.
This thing used to be feet inland! Much of the post-war construction in Japan is of nearly ubiquitous concrete construction, often using prefabricated slabs. This was largely because Japan lacked much in the way of structural metals and wood for reconstruction, and because the traditional wood framed rice paper structures of the pre-war era proved to be highly prone to propagation of firestorms.
Concrete is an essentially fireproof material that can be fashioned out of mostly local materials, preformed and prestressed in a production-line fashion, and made into essentially any shape using minimal structural steel. This use of concrete is especially apparent in Okinawa, which was devastated by Allied bombing and invasion, and in which virtually no pre-war structures remain except in a few of the outlying islands of the Ryukyu Archipelago.
Like all composite materials, it is only as strong as the weakest material when it comes to corrosion and degradation. Concrete buildings often show evidence of degradation only a few decades after construction, and this is especially true in nations like Japan. Concrete is degraded in three basic ways; erosion due to action of wind and waves, spallation large flakes or slabs separating off of the surface usually due to subsurface stresses such as corrosion or freezing, and through fracture which is due to tensile and torsional stresses which are not taken up by the reinforcing structure rebar.
Why are Japanese and many other concrete buildings prone to degradation while modern concrete structures in Europe and North America more resistant? There are multiple reasons:. Corrosion: Japan, as an island nation in which much of the population lives in near-marine conditions, has a corrosive environment.
While the aggregate material sand and rock is generally highly resistant to natural chemical action, the matrix can be dissolved by acids, electrolytic action, and many oils, especially those formed by petroleum residue. Spallation or through fracture can expose the tensile fiber to the elements which can further accelerate wear by corrosive expansion, i. Poor materials: Local materials, especially aggregates, were used without care for proper size, composition, and necessary hardening, making a lot of the construction of particularly soft concrete that does not resist erosion or fracture.
Some of the aggregate materials used, like those containing mica, laumontite, and pyrite may actually degrade material strength and accelerate corrosion.
Similar effects can be seen on old military concrete structures built around the same time. Heavy tropical storms, depositing seawater well inland, are common during the monsoon season in the more southern areas of the Home Islands and in the southern possessions.
Seismic activity: Japan is, of course, a volcanic archipelago with a high degree of geological activity. This leads back to through fracture, exposing the rebar to corrosion and the resulting effects. Even good quality concrete structures in temperate climates require periodic maintenance applying sealants on exposed areas, patching cracks, reinforcing areas stressed by subsidence, et cetera.
Why do abandoned buildings decay.Why are we so fascinated by photographs of decaying buildings?
Nov 28, · Unlike many modern ruin photographers, Ference became involved in documenting decaying buildings because he saw buildings that he loved in danger of being . On the other hand, an ancient stone building doesn’t have this problem – decay only manifests itself in such a building when the actual stone has started to weather away, which takes a . Oct 23, · Factual Questions. Colophon October 23, , pm #1. A location for the new Bond film was apparently inspired by Hashima, a “ghost island” in Japan that formerly housed .
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Occasionally, we notice houses that have been abandoned recently start to fall apart in no time. Have you ever wondered why abandoned or neglected houses fall apart quickly? A good example is why do abandoned buildings decay house in Why do abandoned buildings decay, TN. This was built in The house in this photo was only 16 years ago. But older houses that ссылка built in s looked more appealing to the eyes than this house that was only built 16 years ago.
Because for the past years it how many nfl players are from north carolina empty and started to deteriorate. After a month that it has been abandoned, the city might turn off the electricity. After two months, animals might arrive in the house and start to chew up any left food and any furniture left.
After three months, the exterior would start to get cracks on the pavement as the grass would be overgrown. After five months, typhoons visit the area and many shingles would fly off and would even shatter glass windows. After a year of excessive moisture accumulation it starts to plague the why do abandoned buildings decay – structure would get stressed causing the wooden materials in the roof to snag and snap, tearing the sheath of the roof.
When it rains the water would flow to the interior of the house — soaking drywall and wood sheathings. And mold would start перейти на страницу grow.
After two years, the wall exterior paint of the house would start to shed. Wood materials would start to decay. The garage door would collapse giving an opening for different kind of things to enter the house. After three years, huge part of the roof would start to collapse.
Plants would start to grow inside the house breaking apart cement floor. After 4 years, the walls would become severely why do abandoned buildings decay and wall ceiling and walls would start to fall. After 5 years, the house is completely unrecognizable. A house protects you from elements such as wind, hail, rain, snow and solar radiation, ultraviolet radiation, heat, and cold. But those the same elements can also prove to be fatal for a house when there is no routine maintenance done to the house necessary to keep it на этой странице. When a house is abandoned, there is no one to maintain or repair the house from the damages it gets from several elements.
When a house is abandoned, it is no longer protected in a way to keep environmental elements out. Even when a house has occupants but no repairs done why do abandoned buildings decay the house when needed, the house will fall apart.
A house albuquerque new mexico hotels near i 40 on-going maintenance and repairs for it to remain appealing to the eyes and pro-long the life-span of the materials of the house. Turnkey Transformation – Memphis TN. Nancie Grace. Recent Posts See All.