One of the Mountain State’s best-kept secrets, Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is a former mental hospital turned tourist attraction in Weston, West Virginia.
Housing 155,000 inmates over its 104 years of operation, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio commanded attention. Designed by Levi T. Scofield in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the exterior of the prison resembled the appearance of several castles in western Europe. Aptly, it received the nickname “Dracula’s Castle” for its gothic presentation.
The first impressions of the historic Proctor’s Palace Theatre included several floors of debris, seats, and metalwork piled high, stairs that had devolved into ramps devised out of plater and asbestos, and dingy darkness. But the second tier offered views of the theater’s mammoth size and its remarkable, intact features, such as the balconies, orchestra pit, and extensive stenciling.
The Lonaconing, Maryland silk mill, last operated by General Textile Mills, is one of my favorite buildings to photograph. From its early 20th century machinery to its dated calendars and papers, it is remarkable that this testament to industrial heritage remains standing well over 50 years past its closure.
At 2,500 feet in elevation, exploring the former Allegheny Tuberculosis Sanatorium was a delight. With heavy fog blanketing the campus in the early mornings, perpetual overcast days, and cooler temperatures even in the dead of summer, its location along the Allegheny Mountain front in Pennsylvania was ideal.
Driving home to upstate New York on a cold, blustery evening, I stopped to visit a childhood memory: the everlasting tourist attraction, Roadside America, but I arrived too late, and the kitschy gift shop and model railroad exhibit was closed for the day. Determined to make the best of the waning evening, I stopped by next door to visit the ruined Suwannee Belle.
Sources report that the Ford Motor Company began negotiations to acquire the long-abandoned Michigan Central Station in Detroitl, Michigan.