Sunday, January 18, 2009

Urban Exploration, D.C. hospital

On Saturday, a small group of us entered an abandoned hospital in D.C. which had closed down in 1996. The previous weekend, we had scouted the place since it was next to a police training center and we wanted to be sure our interest wouldn't be misinterpreted. It was a freezing windy day when we arrived and we quickly and quietly entered the building. We'd agreed no flash photography should be taken and this meant having to continuously adjust meters on our cameras which was hard work since all digits were frozen.

The building was 4 floors and large so we moved swiftly and quietly through the floors, each of us trying to capture as much character as possible in a building which is due to be demolished very soon.

There weren't too many hazards and only a few areas had broken asbestos tiling on the floors which we trod through carefully without raising any dust. We were amazed at how little the building had been vandalized and at how much equipment had been left behind to be destroyed by the elements.

I was fascinated at how cleanly the paintwork was peeling from the walls and wondered if the lead content contributed to this.

I found this frame in a room and spent a few sad moments wondering why it had been abandoned when so much work had already gone into it.

I loved this little TV which looked as though it could still be turned on and tuned to ABC news, while its surroundings were falling apart.

This is my favorite image of the place. The lighting was perfect, although enhanced with Photoshop. I can't decide if I want to look at the wheelchairs more or the fire extinguishers. Why were there so many left here?

These old computers made me chuckle and should really be saved in a museum rather than left to rot away here. They took floppy diskettes, remember those?

These two old hairdryers reminded me of something you'd see in a Yoko Ono art exhibition and almost look like two people having a conversation.

The lab was my favorite place, filled with glass bottles of all shapes and sizes and even unopened boxes of glass stirrers. There were bottles of chemicals, lots of testing machinery and even text books.

Three of us went down to the basement which was very dark. Groping around with flashlights, we startled a watchman who was initially wary of our activities but after a few minutes became very chatty and was even kind enough to direct us to the morgue, which we'd been looking for. It was nice that he trusted us enough to let us continue our exploration, but I suspect he thought we were a little odd.

I can't understand what happened with this photo. My camera was fixed on a tripod so you can see that the chair and everything in the foreground and to the right is crisp and clear, yet there seems to be a motion blur above the seat and across the window. Strange.

After about three hours, we were frozen, so decided to head out to warm up in a restaurant for lunch. Re-energized, we returned to the hospital and found a hallway that linked to another building that has not been explored by any other UEs. We were the first in and delighted in snapping shots of new corridors, a wonderful chapel and also a theater. The above image is part of the chapel. I may post other images later but for now they remain private on our forum.
We'd spent over six hours in this building and between all of us had documented it thoroughly and from all perspectives. We spent another hour in the cold parking lot discussing our day and the sad plight of the hospital. Apparently, the residents here had not been well cared for, resulting in its demise and I'm sure there are many who are pleased to see it closed. Maybe it's fitting that from its decay we tried to find some beauty.

1 comment:

Robbi Mason said...

Can you tell me if this hospital is still around? I'd like to do some exploring of my own.