Horatio Q. DeSantis State School
As I write this in 2020, it has been such an incredibly long time since I have been to this place, or really done any serious exploring, that it feels ridiculous to give this place a fake name. It’s well known. However, it is the subject of a fair amount of hand wringing in the community it sits in and I don’t need to get involved with that.
Eventually, everyone will lose interest and/or “demolition by neglect” will run its course, as it usually does. It would be great to see at least one of the buildings preserved as a memorial to the patients who spent their lives here, the history is a bit rocky as it is with most such institutions, but it is not the most architecturally significant campus around. There were other state hospitals that should have been preserved long before this one. There are a lot of buildings on the campus which need to be torn down because they are new, ugly, and constructed solely for utility. A few of the more interesting ones are already way too far gone to preserve. The hype around this place is purely political, and it’s all very typical of how these things go everywhere such a campus shuts down. If you’re familiar with these types of places, you know how it will all play out already.
My pictures are from the typical buildings that everyone saw around the time I was going there. They’re the buildings that were wide open and you could basically walk right in to. There are so few campuses like this left to explore in the Northeast I should be more excited about it, but sometimes you just don’t connect with a place creatively.
I don’t mean to be overly blasé about this, the circumstances around the shutdown were really shitty and the long term patients got the short end of the stick, as usual. The history here is interesting, but aesthetically it was not the most stunning place I have ever been.
These shots come from 5 different trips I took over the course of a couple of years.