Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Rainy Weekend

Last weekend comprised of rain all day Saturday continuing into part of Sunday. I spent a large part of Saturday reading or watching old movies and our plans to revisit a power station in PA on Sunday were abandoned because nobody relished the thought of driving for over 3 hours each way in the rain.
Instead, we went to an abandoned mental hospital in Maryland which we had heard had tight security. Sure enough, when we arrived a patrol car was perched on top of the hill scrutinizing every vehicle that passed.

Established in 1888, it was initially known as the Asylum and Training School for the Feeble Minded and only closed in June of this year. It would only admit white children of ages 7 - 17 years who were then taught farming or domestic skills. As with many of these institutes, it eventually became overcrowded and stories of neglect and abuse ensued.
We drove around the complex noting that all buildings were tightly secured but there was still an sad and lonely atmosphere to the place and the older buildings were beautiful constructions.

There was still some snow on the grounds from the night before and a chill wind nudged us as we walked over the grass. We managed to grab a few shots and were considering entering a building which had an open door when the security van hurtled around the corner heading towards us. I was a little concerned as a friend of mine had previously received a citation just from walking these grounds. We approached the van and I smiled broadly as he lowered his window and I spotted his box of mostly eaten doughnuts on the passenger seat. He started off by berating us but I continued smiling and asked what would become of the site. He then turned into chat mode and informed us that although the newer buildings would be razed to the ground, the older structures would be preserved and that some of the area may become parkland. He then warned us to stay on the paved roads and let us be.

We proceeded to trundle around the grounds taking photos but not leaving the car. After about 15 minutes, our security car appeared again looking sterner and told us we should be on the 'main' roads, not the 'paved' roads. He then escorted us back to the main road so we decided to call it a day and not provoke him further.As we left, we looked back to see him resume his perch on top of the hill.
As the day was still young, we decided to play safe and head to Baltimore and revisit the old clothing factory again.

These colorful row houses really stood out in an area that has been neglected and now has many boarded up or collapsed houses.

We took some shots inside the factory and was pleased to see that still it hasn't been destroyed by graffiti artists or vandals. A few more scattered coats were the only signs of activity on the two floors.

We headed up to the roof looking over the decay of the neighboring area, then headed for our customary beers and food in a warm cheerful pub.

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