Sep 3, 2012

Oh Henryton!

Today has been really dreary with small storm cells passing through the area all day. I kicked off my morning with a trip out to an old site where my friend Seinberg and I used to shoot urban decay photos all the time; Henryton State Hospital, which was once a tuberculosis sanatorium. The complex is made up of several buildings which served as treatment and housing for tubercular patients and later, the severely mentally handicapped. As cases of tuberculosis dwindled, so did the need for this facility and eventually in the fall of 1985 its doors were closed. Now, all that remains are the shells of buildings and just barely. Today was the first day I've been back to Henryton since February 28, 2009. When Seinberg and I used to crawl through this place in 2008 & 2009, there were always a few interesting scenes to capture depending on the weather. Sunny days at Henryton were always fruitful because of the great grid-work shadows the sun would cast through the broken windows and holes in the roofs. Brightly painted rooms always had fantastic murals of cracked and peeling paint. And as I walked through the halls, breathing sweatily through my asbestos mask I couldn't help but remember awesome times when my friend and I snapped away in amazement. It was such a rush back then. Turning the corner, or opening a door and exclaiming "Oh man!" as a dilapidated scene lay covered in dust, basking in sunlight and rife with irony. But, as it stands today, kids have gone crazy with spray paint inside, and apparently kicking down walls is all the craze. A couple of buildings have even been burned down. I ran into three teenage kids 30 minutes after I had arrived. Not one for small talk, I left the place frustrated and with only 12 exposures to my name. Of those 12 exposures, I created the 3 HDR images in this blog entry. Still, it was fun to walk the halls once again and though I won't return, it's stirred up thoughts about other sites I used to frequent.

Here is a gallery of images I took at Henryton back in 2008. It's not as nice now, as it was back then!

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