Rainy Day Aerials of an Asylum

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

A deeply overcast morning provided the perfect setting for aerials of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, later known as the Weston State Hospital, in Weston, West Virginia.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Designed in the Gothic Revival and Tudor Revival styles by Baltimore architect Richard Snowden Andrews, construction on the hospital began in 1858 and the first patients were admitted in October 1864. Extensive wings were added in 1872-73. At 1,295-feet in length, it was the most massive structure built from hand-cut stone in the United States and second-largest in the world after the Kremlin.

In 1986, Governor Arch Moore announced plans for an entirely new mental treatment facility; the circa 1880 facility would be converted into a prison. After numerous court battles and petitions, the new William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital opened in 1994. In 2007, the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources auctioned the vacant hospital, and Joe Jordan, an asbestos demolition contractor, was the highest bidder, who had plans to preserve and restore the complex.

As of 2021, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum offers a variety of tours and experiences, including heritage, paranormal, and photography events, ghost hunts, and the annual Asylum Ball.

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