Hudson River State Hospital

Welcome to the Hudson River State Hospital, the first High Victorian Gothic institution built in the United States. Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, it opened in 1871 and spent 140 years consuming tax dollars in exchange for housing the state’s mentally ill. It was built during a “moral treatment” era of mental hygiene and enjoyed national prominence under the leadership of luminaries in mental health.

The hospital eventually attained a peak census of 6,000 patients in the mid 1950’s before sustaining a sixty-year decline. Advances in medicine and treatments, a high operating cost, and changes in social attitude contributed to its eventual closure in 2012.

Today the structures have crumbled under constant assault from fires, vandals, and exposure. One thing still intact: A spectacular history spanning fourteen decades.

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At first glance this 1930’s filling station tucked away on a country road in Northern England is unspectacular. Yet visitors to the Willow Bridge Service Station are treated to a collection of dilapidated cars and rotting caravans scattered around the property.

Willow Bridge is not abandoned, and is still very much in business. However today it only serves decomposition, diesel, and rust. The station lacks a fantastic history, but it does host a few dozen abandoned vehicles collecting moss and succumbing to the local flora.

England-based photographer Guy Carpenter has captured the decay in detail and shares his images of those brave conveyances who elected to stay behind to confront a ferrous fate. 


One of the more fascinating oceanic tales is that of the strange encounter between the Ellen Austin and an abandoned vessel found adrift near the Bermuda Triangle. The Ellen Austin‘s captain sent two separate crews to bring the vessel to New York as a salvage prize, however both crews mysteriously vanished, and the derelict was lost forever.

What ship did the Ellen Austin encounter, and what became of her two missing prize crews? What is truth, what is fiction? Sometimes-Interesting has gathered the information and presents what is believed, and what is known. 

Seaview Hospital bed

Founded in 1830, the Staten Island Farm Colony was once a sprawling several-hundred acre campus. Sister facility Seaview Hospital was planned and built between 1905 and 1938, and at the time was the largest and most expensive tuberculosis hospital in the United States. Together the two facilities defied obsolescence and managed to stay in operation for nearly 150 years, courtesy of a deft ability to adapt and quickly shift their mission.

Eventually the outdated facilities caught up with its operators, forcing the main hospital operations to cease in the mid-1970’s. Redevelopment has sprouted up in the periphery, and a senior center still operates out of the newest buildings, however most structures have been abandoned and left to the elements.

In this post we examine the history and importance of the Farm Colony, Seaview Hospital, and their various structures.


Over the last century architectural design in Tokyo has been in a constant state of metamorphosis. A stroll through the country’s largest city confirms this; few structures in Tokyo predate 1980. Reasons for the structural turnover vary, but sanitary issues, safety concerns, staying competitive, and high cost of an earthquake-proofing retrofit are the most common.

One building that survived for more than fifty years was the Hotel Okura Tokyo, built for the 1964 Olympics. It served as an important part of a revival that re-introduced Japan to the international stage.

The Okura was designed by visionaries, it hosted luminaries, and proudly served dignitaries. Nearly eight hundred rooms served as a time capsule of 1960’s Japanese design and hospitality service. However in September of 2015, developers will demolish the respected original to make way for a new and improved Okura 2.0.

Hackensack Water Company

One hundred years ago utility companies used massive steam-powered engines to pump water throughout communities. These five-story behemoths were impressive for their time but had become obsolete decades before the end of the twentieth century. As infrastructure was upgraded, most were dismantled and sold for scrap; few managed to survive.

One survivor is in the long-defunct New Milford plant of the former Hackensack Water Company in Oradell, New Jersey. The waterworks was established in 1882 and operated continuously for over one hundred years before closing in 1990. Over the last twenty-five years it has avoided several close calls with demolition.

Today the plant’s future is not yet guaranteed, but the buildings still stand because of fortuitous circumstance, government indecision, and the hard work of a passionate few. 


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