Friday, September 18, 2009

Central State Hospital, Milledgeville, GA


View of a hallway and into a bathroom in the Walker Building, Central State Hospital.

Central State Hospital, formerly known as the Georgia Lunatic Asylum, the State Asylum for the Insane, and the Georgia State Sanitarium, is the oldest and largest psychiatric facility in the state. Located on a sprawling 1,750 acre campus in Milledgeville, GA, which was at the time the state capitol, the Asylum admitted its first patient in 1842. Patient population exploded rapidly, and by the 1870s overcrowding was an issue; new buildings and additions to existing buildings were rapidly constructed to deal with the ballooning need for beds. This trend continued through the 1960s, when Central briefly contended with New York's Pilgrim for the title of largest psychiatric facility in the world.

In 1884, the Walker Building was constructed for the reception of white male convalescent patients. Unlike the state-run public health facilities in the North, segregation was common in Southern asylums; at Milledgeville, the practice continued until at least the 1940s. The extent of segregation from state to state varied wildly, as did the degree of difference in quality of treatment. At some asylums and sanitoriums, white patients received treatment in airy dayrooms of sturdy buildings, whilst black patients were crowded into poorly insulated tents. Central State Hospital was somewhat more forward in its thinking; the first building for "coloured" patients was erected in 1866, albeit far from central Powell administration building. This evolved into a distinct campus of buildings for black patients. Somewhat more stark and institutional than the more ornate buildings for white patients, the remaining structures constructed for African Americans have now been repurposed as a prison.

The more ornate Walker Building, on the other hand, was abandoned around 1974, and over thirty years of disuse have not been kind to it. The heat and humidity of central Georgia have taken their toll; much of the third floor lacks a ceiling, and the walls are a tapestry of peeling paint, algae, mold, and disintegrating plaster. Foliage has grown over large portions of the building, and invaded the interior spaces. Insects and small mammals have made their homes here, as has a large coyote. Yet through all this, some aspects of grandeur remain in this venerable building, used for almost a century.


The roof gone, vines have begun to overtake this third-floor bathroom.


Third floor hallway, the roof long rotted away.


A typical patient room, with a viewing window to allow orderlies to look in on patients.


A curtain still hangs in a dark patient bedroom.


The lack of a roof creates interesting interplays of light at various times of day.


Although in somewhat better condition than the top floor, water damage and humidity have wrecked havoc on the floors below as well.


Among the few artifacts left in the building, this cabinet still contains the last patients' toothbrushes, each labeled with a surname.


Plaster has collapsed into a sink in a tiny corner bathroom.


In the violent ward hallway at the Southern end of the building, the doors were outfitted with spinning platforms that could be used to provide food to patients without opening the door.


A closeup of one such platform. A deadbolt separate from the one locking the door would keep the platform from rotating when not in use.


As the sun sets, the reflection of light off the red brick building colors the walls facing the courtyards.


A typical scene as the sun hangs low over the Walker building.


A large corner room near sundown.


Foliage is overtaking the building; here, an intact window provides a climbing point for vines which are beginning to slip into the building through the cracks.

122 comments:

Gail said...

Thank you! These photos are hauntingly beautiful......
one can't help but wonder what it must have been like to be a patient in such a place.

Adam said...

Fantastic photos as usual. I wonder how you manage to get into these places, how dangerous they are (risk of collapse) and why they are still standing at all.

Daniel said...

You have done exactly what I've wanted to do since moving to Milledgeville over a year-and-a-half ago. And the result is excellent.
I am a writer for the local newspaper in Milledgeville. If you would be at all interested, I would love to talk with you about these images and your decision to photograph other mental health facilities that are undergoing the same fate as central state.
I apologize for appropriating one of your images to link to your blog. If that is not okay I'll take it down.
Thanks again for capturing these great images.

Jeremy Harris said...

Awesome, Mr. Nickel Jr. That place was so awesome and we must go again sometime.

cdbehrle said...

Your work is simply incredible & captures so much, it is almost overwhelmingly evocative, like a scent can be.

Thank you for posting all these images, I have been a fan since I first came across your photos of Admiral's Row.

Karen Burns said...

I love your work. I have a fascination with door, iron railing, and peeling paint. Your work is beautiful! I love browsing your blog.

mac centeno said...

this is probably one of the creepiest places ived ever seen. Great pictures!

AprillAprill Johanna said...

Hi! Your blog leave my speechless! Is it ok for me to show one of your picures on my blog together with your name and link to your website? /Johanna, Sweden

AprillAprill Johanna said...

Ps: check out my post of an old abandon house in Småland Sweden.
http://blogg.aprillaprill.se/2009/july/odetorp.html

Vanessa said...

Amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing both the images and the story of Central State.

Wanda said...

As a child in Ga. in the 60's I was taken on a field trip there. I had nightmares for months afterwards. Had to see these pictures to acutally believe I was remembering what I thought I was. Thanks for the wonderful shots. This place has haunted my dreams for years.

Wanda

Anonymous said...

Wow... Now that is what I call some good pictures... I was going to go there, but now I'm not so sure.

Chris said...

My grandfather lived at Central State Hospital fom the early forties until the early seventies. These are the first pictures that I have ever seen of the place where he basically lived his adult life. My eyes filled with tears as I realized what he must have experienced as a man with a chemical imbalance in his brain before the dawn of psychtrophic medications. How he suffered... Thank you for further humanizing a terrible memory. It doesn't make it any easier to deal with, but it does bring to my heart what my mother, grandmother, and aunts had to deal with so long ago. May God truly rest his lovely soul.

Chris said...

Sorry..."psychotropic" on the previous post...

Ken Mac said...

do you wear protective masks in these places? Great stuff

fairiemoon said...

These are absolutely gorgeous photos! You have captured the colors and the light in such interesting, evocative ways! I especially love the intact window and the blue door.

How do you feel about walking on some of those floors knowing the degree of rot the rood has undergone?

We have so many derelict buildings up here in Upstate NY...not institutions however. I always want to photograph them but don't want to trespass.

Erin :)

Alex Ciopata said...

Wow! Great images!

BrutcherSP said...

Beautiful, poignant photographs. My grandparents live in Milledgeville and I remember riding through the grounds in my grandfather's truck when I was little. The high, barred windows on the of the buildings and occasional glimpses of the patients (mostly Down syndrome sufferers and schizophrenics) were extremely creepy to me back then.

Giampaolo said...

Incredible place, Incredible photos!
I'm writing you from Italy, do you think can I find this building in GoogleMaps? I've tried but looking around Milledgeville is very hard to recognize it?
Someone can helps me?
Thanks for your help and that wonderful picture,
Giampaolo (Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy)

Erica said...

Linked to your blog for a recent article on Central State and its inclusion on the 2010 Places in Peril list. Lovely photos, good work.

Wade said...

I drive by this relic daily. Wish you could have shown its beautiful front. Late evening shots would rival some of the ones taken inside except being less damaged by the years. The Jones Building would be a candidate for another shoot.
Thanks for the great work.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As one writer mentioned, a photo of the exterior would have helped put it in perspective. I worked in this building 1974-75, at a time when mental health care was becoming more enlightened. [So, the person who bemoaned her relative living most of his adult life in this hospital need not dispair.]
In 1975 it was abandoned for patient care, but used many more years as a storage facility.
If memory serves, there is a plaque on the front of the Walker Building identifying it as having been named to honor a nurse, the history of the hospital, the only building so named.

redlighttgo said...

love these pictures...so interesting and perfectly captured! great job!

-margot
http://redlighttgo.blogspot.com/

bpenn12 said...

I'm a "going-on 74" Great-Grandfather who spent 7yrs active duty, US Army; then 2yrs working at Emory University; then back home to Milledgeville(Baldwin, County) where I was reared and learned to roller skate on the sidewalk right outside the Walker Bldg. Also, back in the early '40s, '50s, '60s & '70s a small store was operated in the corner of the bldg where one could pause for a refreshing drink or ice cream, etc. I also worked @ CSH(MSH back then) for about one year as I started to college on the GI Bill @ GA Military College. I could tell you some stories about many oddities there during those years but sure enjoyed reading and viewing your articles re: Walker Bldg. Buford M. Pennington.

Anonymous said...

Darryl, Wow! My office was on the 3rd floor. june 1969, right out of college. Social Work Tech. Can't believe it looks that bad inside the building.

Alyssa said...

I am not sure how I stumbled across your blog, but I have spent the better half of the morning looking through your posts. These photos are absolutely amazing! I am currently an intern at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, GA and I was curious about why you chose to photograph the Walker building and not another. Did you have a chance to tour the museum? The tours are by appointment only. Also, they will be doing larger campus tours soon with limited space, and I would love to get in on that! Maybe I could send you some photos to inspire you to come back!

Shash said...

those photos are haunting! absolutely fantastic

George P. Burdell said...

When facing the Powell Building (big white building), is this building to the left or to the right? Is it the one with the big columned portico? I know the three/four abandoned buildings right on the pecan grove, but I can never keep their names straight.

Anonymous said...

To Chris, whose grandfather spent 30 years here as a patient, I have tears in my eyes after reading your post. Thanks for the eloquently stated tribute to the poor people who were treated in this hospital. We really should think of them too and not just architecture when looking at these images. My brother was hospitalized for 2 years and is now doing great; imagine what his life would have been decades ago.

Anonymous said...

How did you get into this place?...i could not find a way in

Anonymous said...

Incredible. My mother was here for almost two weeks. Until now, I had not ever seen this place. It was something we were not to discuss. When she passed a few years ago, I guess she took the images with her. What a horrific place! What healing pictures! Thank you.

CARL DAUGHERTY JR. said...

THESE PHOTOS BRINGS BACK MEMORIES AS I WAS A PATIENT THERE FROM 1971-1972. IN THIS BUILDING. I SOON GOT A JOB IN THE STORE DOWN STAIRS.I STILL TRULY HAVE GOOD AN BAD MEMORIES ABOUT THIS PLACE.I TRULY ENJOYED THE PHOTOS. THIS IS NOT A PRANK I TRULY WAS A PATIENT HERE!
MY DOCTOR'S NAME WAS. DR RAY..

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous.

Back in 2001, you could make it onto the main grounds via the woods back behind the grave fields where they buried so many of their patients. There was an old dirt service road that cut through that part of the property accessible via the woods surrounding those fields, which you could get to via a culdesac in an adjascent neighborhood. Not legal of course, but doable.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Would it be okay with you to use these pictures on another site if you were given credit and people could be linked to your blog?

Richard Nickel, Jr. said...

I am perfectly happy with being reblogged including a link and credit so long as your website is not commercial; if, on the other hand, you are a for-profit website such as WebUrbanist etc, you may feel free to contact me at my email address to discuss licensing fees.

Anonymous said...

I worked there as an attendant in a receiving ward at the Rivers building from 74 to 76. It is as bad and sad as you can imagine. It was the end of the line, people that could not take care of themselves, had no money and their family didn't want them. The pay we received was low and the budget for this huge place low. Mainly staffed by Dr's from Cuba (they were fine) working on getting their license from the US, and intern Psychologist, and Social workers from the near by college.

Water Damage Grants Pass said...

I know you get this all the time, but I really do love your pictures. I hope I have your talent!

Anonymous said...

I am the granddaughter of a Cuban doctor who worked at the hospital between the years of 1965-1978. I still remember many stories that he would share with us. But most of all I remember how honored he was to work in the Central State Hospital. I would like to know if there is any one out there that worked with my grandfather Dr. Roberto R. Perdomo Sr.
Thank you to the people of Milledgeville and The Central State Hospital for giving my grandfather the opportunity to work and do what he loved so much “being a physician”.
God Bless you......

tcb said...

Your photos are very telling. My Grandmother was a patient here from 1950's to mid 1960's. She was so desperate to get out that she jumped from the 2nd story building and broke her leg. After much digging, I found that my Grandfather had put her in Milledgeville so he could continue in his wicked lifestyle.She never recover from her experience in Milledgeville. So sad

Linnea said...

Beauty in decay is very strange and very real

Anonymous said...

Thank you; your photos help me visualize the hospital of times past. My grandmother died there in 1929 from pellagra. As you may know, it is a disease caused by a B-vitamin deficiency and common among Southern poor people in the early twentieth century. Dementia is one of the main symptoms.

shapewear said...

its as if the whole building has a disease.

Anonymous said...

These photos hit me hard: my grandmother spent her last 30+ years here and as children we were afraid to go inside with mother to pick her up for our annual visit. I had to go with mother while my brother and sister stayed in the car with the doors locked. Of course it was in much better condition but I remember the stares and shuffling walk of the patients. So sad.

Jen said...

The toothbrushes are very eerie....do you ever get scared doing these?

La Anima Sola said...

the pictures are beautiful, certainly, one would be inclined, after seeing them, to forget how terrible the people are who recently ran the place, and the horrible things done behind closed doors to adolescent female patients. One might be so inclined, were it not still so fresh a memory.

Anonymous said...

Great Photos! I went to GCSU and have visited the campus many times. It was one of my favorite places to show people who were new to Milledgeville. I've always wanted to go into these buildings, but those cops are vigilant! It's really great to see what the Walker building looks like inside! I've read some pretty crazy stories about people sneaking in at night and I can only imagine what this place looks like in the darkness. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

my grandmother died in Central State Hospital about the year 1941 before my birth. Unfortunately, I did not know her, but the idea of her mistreatment here makes me sad for her and thousands of others who suffered because of our lack of understanding of medical and mental conditions.

Anonymous said...

I am crying for the grandmother that I never knew who died here. Haunting pictures....

viagra generic online said...

Hey this is very scary pictures..but nice photography.good work keep it up!!

Anonymous said...

You should send these photos to TAPS and maybe they could get in to investigate! Awesome pictures.

Anonymous said...

These pictures are amazing. My great uncle was wrongly incarcerated in the hospital and lived there until his death in 1963. In the late 1940's, my 78 year old aunt resided at the hospital while completing part of her nursing training and she would often visit with him. She is still haunted by the image of him at the window of his room waving at her as she left the hospital. It was the last time she ever saw him. Last year I took her back to visit the facility and it was an incredible experience to hear her describe what life was like back then. We did visit the museum and for her it was like stepping back in time. I took many exterior photos and was so disappointed that we couldn't take any of he interior. Your photos have helped to fill that void. Thank you for sharing them. JDF

sheila @ Elements said...

I've really enjoyed exploring your blog! Your pictures are wonderful!! My favorite pic is the very last Central State pic. That's amazingly beautiful! :)

John Baxter said...

Your work is fantastic! I'm an over the road truck driver and have been near many of the places you have done research on. Thank you for such inspiration!! By the way, I think Opie (Greg Hughes) on Opie and Anthony radio show would like to talk to you about Underground NY. They were talking about it the other day and how he could take a tour.

Donna de la Perriere said...

My uncle was hospitalized in Central State for many years. Amazing, gorgeous, haunting images. Thank you--

Melinda said...

Hello I read all these posts about the Kingston Lounge. I must say, I was raised up in the "Kingston Lounge" which was called "The Walker Building" in the 1960s until 2000. I was in the adolescent unit, "The Boland Building", and put there as a child illegally. There were many children and people that were buried under the buildings there, including children. Children died there, raped, overdosed by medications, received electric shock treatments. I am trying to do a movie as well as a book. If anyone is interested, please contact me at mg4454@ymail.com.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how or if there are records of patients from the 40's and 50's? I would like to see if my grandfather was there.

Denise said...

My grandmother spent over eight years in Milledgeville Asylum in the 1940's. She went after my uncle was severly burned and survived. My grandfather got government contract jobs that caused him to leave his eight children alone. The baby died and my mother and siblings were placed in the Clara Steel-Pitts home. in the fifties my grandfather was to get his family together in Chicago. My grandmother lived to be 80, never dangerous but was not allowed to live alone. The did get decent drugs to help her live outside the asylum.

Thank you for these excellent phosting

wyatt said...

I went in there at night and it was creepy. If you go there ask the ghost to turn outside lights off we did and one turned off. It was crazy.

Anonymous said...

I went in there at night and it was creepy. If you go there ask the ghost to turn outside lights off we did and one turned off. It was crazy.

lin said...

Nice Work! It is so very sad and, for lack of a better word,"INSANE" how they treated individuals before the 60's. My grandmother 'ROSA' was a patient/resident there from 1938-1974, she died there! there are so many graves on those grounds! I am in the processs of gathering information. They experimented with helpless individuals, and moved inmates in with civillians! I am happy to see these photographs, we should not forget these poor souls who suffered there!!!! thank you so much!!

lin said...

You can go to this site and request information about a relative if you wish! apparently the web site is swamped right now, because i cant access it, Best Of Luck with your Search!!
The website is Centralstatehospital.org/genealogy

Anonymous said...

will be there tuesday....treatinng people....scary

Denise said...

I think it's fascinating. Old buildings always seem to tell a story. There is something mystical about them. The pictures capture that perfectly.

eca 30 said...

Superb site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

i absolutely love these photos. i went there yesterday and today and took some photos on the outside of the building.

MarkTulk said...

amazing photos! my art has been totally influenced by these sorts of images as well as researching the history of some of these places — my latest record was even inspired by this place! http://marktulk.bandcamp.com/album/central-state

Anonymous said...

My birth mother resided here for about a year in 1967. I was born in this building in September. To be a single mother was shameful at the time and at least three relatives committed her there. I'm glad she chose to give birth. Thank you for showing me what it looked like inside. When I visited there they would not allow me to go in. Thanks and keep taking photos.

DWG said...

I found your blog from a link on Wikipedia. My very first clinical class in nursing school was held in the Walker Building in the fall of 1973. I was a very frightened 17 year old and certainly questioned my career choice after that visit. Only a few short months later, I started working in the Jones Building just across the pecan orchard from the Walker Building, and worked there until May of 1976. About a year ago, my college roommate came to visit and we drove over to Milledgeville to spend the day and tour our alma mater. While there we also drove out to CSH for me to view the location of my very first job. I was saddened at the condition and disrepair of these grand old buildings which are adorned with interesting architectural ornament. If only these walls could talk.....

Thank you for your awesome photo journal. I would certainly be interesting to know how you learned of this building and what brought you to middle Georgia to do this photo shoot.

C.Smith said...

Hi... I am an urban explorer now residing in Milledgeville. I visited this site and got some great shots of the various buildings a couple of years ago, but security would not allow me to go inside of any of the buildings or remain on the grounds for very long. I was wondering if you were able to obtain special permission to enter the buildings or if you had to sneak in. I am dying to go inside and see everything before they decide to destroy the buildings. Thanks.. C.Smith loveusandletuslive@gmail.com

no one cared then said...

I not only experienced being taken away from my mom at the age of three but she was taken to this horrible so called hospital because(they) thought it would help her mentally, after losing her three little kids to welfare. Shock treatments were her only answer. Instead of helping her keep us. They drugged her and God only knows what else. Who cares now? Right?

Lynn Tripp said...

This place is amazing . I'd love to go and take some pictures for a photography contest . Where exactly in Milledgeville is it ? Would you mind sending me some more details about the place ? I'd really appreciate it . Courtlynn1415@yahoo.com

tpeddie said...

My great grandmother was in this place in the early 1900s. I tried to get records but they couldnt find them; I think I will try again. These photos are creepy. I have many photos of great grandma Minnie. I wish I knew more. Thx for this amazing website & photos.

Anonymous said...

My mom was a patient there in the 50's and 60's. Hearing some of the stories she tells, makes me feel so sorry for her and every patient who went through that place. She was put there simply because she didnt want to be tied down to a child.She also went through shock treatments. She & I were just looking at this site together.

Anonymous said...

As I was working on a slide show about the hx of client mh rights in GA for staff at a GA behavioral health facility, came across this site. Remembered visiting CSH in 1969 way before getting my MSW degree. So many professionals now really don't know what that past was like for so many folks who didn't have any rights or advocates to help them get out and back into society. Things have improved, however now many are residing off and on in our jails and prisons as "deinstitutionalization" has never been funded to meet the needs particularly with appropriate transitional housing and support in GA. The State only just responded in greater details after a federal lawsuit required such.

no one cared then said...

photos are nothing compared to actually experiencing the horrible life someone had to live in this place of hell! how could anyone comment on it's place of beauty. where were all you caring people when all this bull.... was happening? we do live in a sick world but it's people like you that should have suffered!!!

Sheliah said...

It is really sad to see that part of Central State hospital. I spent almost a year at the hospital in 2007. However where i was at looked nothing like these pictures but then again the area could have stood some improvements.True the doctors weren't the best but, if not for them i would probably be DEAD!!!! So yes it saddens me to hear of them closing because they saved my life and helped me get housing as i was homelessn and helped me get my social security. Thanks to them I am now thankful for each and everyday that i wake up because i know regardless of what the world and people throw at me i will make it through

Anonymous said...

While doing some family research, I found that my maternal great -great grandfather, Benjamin F Littleton was a patient (inmate) at the Georgia State Sanitarium aka Central State Hospital and died there on February 7, 1907. He was married to Mary C Fackler in Monroe, County, GA. They had 9 children, the youngest, William B Littleton was my great grandfather and his oldest son; Robert Franklin Littleton was my grandfather. My grandfather never spoke of his mother or father (they were divorced) or his grandparents. I only knew some of his 7 siblings. It would be interesting to know more facts about his health and why he was admitted to this place. Your photos are haunting, tender, fascinating and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Deborah Nunn Adair, Fort Worth, TX

Mary Ann said...

Your photos are hauntingly beautiful. I know it didn't look like this when being used, but they give me the feeling of the loneliness of the people who were and are here. My grandmother and her family grew up near Covington and Starrsville. We didn't know until 5 yrs. after gm's death that she had a sister here. We know nothing about her, but I have a hurt in my heart from seeing these and thinking of the fact that we didn't know of her at all. Looking for her family, but I don't know if she had anyone. I pray someone cared for Ozie.

Anonymous said...

Well I worked with several state hospital and the picture surely depict loneliness and that is the feeling you have even working at these places. The families have a tendency to forget their loved ones. The patient staff ratio is horrible and unfortunately the more things change the more they stay the same.

Anonymous said...

all you stupid people saying, now, how beautiful this place was are really and truley the sick ones. you do not even get it, people suffered here, and was mistreated so bad. How in the world can all this destruction be any where near beautiful? All these so call photos are just making this man rich and you are to stupid to know or care. you didn't have family here. so get a life and let others be at peace. no one needs to see how awlful someone else was treated. It was bad enough just having to live through it all. What is wrong with you people???

Anonymous said...

who ever you are taking and saleing these pictures is a very sick person, out to make a fortune off of other peoples' pain and misfortune. some one should lock you up and see how you would like it then. me for one would love to see you suffer. Who is giving you the special privilege of going inside when others are not allowed to ? You are making money off of other helpless peoples pain. They call this beautiful work? You are insane!!!! For real

Christine Devilling said...

dKMy grandfather was Dr. Thomas G. Peacock, it seems as if he was the cause of many of the painful conclusions to those who were living here during the 20 - 50's. I guess if it makes anyone happy, his grandchild, and great grandchild would have given him much reason to keep working.. Thank goodness he isn't alive anymore to watch this.

sfrye26 said...

My Grandmother was a patient here in the 60's and 70's.. She doesn't talk about it at all. And in some kind of attempt to better understand her, I was wondering if anyone knew how you find out what happened there?.. I would really appreciate it.. Actually no one in my family will talk, I don't even know the name of the hospital, all I know is it was in Milledgeville.. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

As a student nurse at CSH in early 70's I saw and experienced many sad situations. No doubt I will forever have seared in my mind unamaginal things that no one would believe unless you were there to see. One quarter from graduation i almost quit nursing school the sadness was overwhelming. Will never forget.

Anonymous said...

you people should look to the future of central state hospital. the clients out there are not being treated like that now. i should know, my mom has been in central state for some years. but i think their being treated wrong by forcing out of the only home they have ever known, some of them. its just wrong. if the walker building gave so many bad memories, why are they going to renovate it? its just dumb and stupid, they're not caring about all the jobs that will be lost. just like the timeclocks its just a waste of money and a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother lived in the community of Hardwick right outside of the hospital grounds and worked in the sewing room in the basement of the Jones Building. My mother and father met at a dance on the grounds of the hospital. My father was a patient at the hospital in 1964 and again in 1971. My father's medical records show that he was released on furlough both times with condition improved. In 1978 my father shot and killed someone. My father was a evil man and should have never been released.

Jennifer tiller said...

I visited the grounds 2 weeks ago and captured some great outside photos. I emailed and called rearing a tour but never to a response. Did you have to get permission to go inside or was that part of the tour? I would love to know more about the history of this place

fb. Kayla Barbera said...

great pictures. kudos to you for being able to get in there, especially in daylight. georgias central state hospital has its own sheriffs office "central state police" right across from the building.

the tour is bullshit. nothing like the real thing. if you actually go you people will find that the old buildings have signs in front of them saying there off limits and "unsafe bulidings and grounds". and no, he is exposing the truths of this hospitals PAST which is a beautiful thing. also, part of the hospital is still running. only some of the buildings are condemned so this is a functional hospital still. that's why its so heavily gaurded

Lindsey S said...

I think your photos are inspiring and breathtaking! I would love to get a chance like you have to explore all these delapidated buildings. Ones that once held so much life good and bad. I live in Georgia and my passion is photography and buildings like these are my dream to photograph. I was wondering how you got permission to go in Central State. If you could please help me my email is snevets2@yahoo.com Thank you so much!

Launch x431 said...

You have done exactly what I've wanted to do since moving to Milledgeville over a year-and-a-half ago. And the result is excellent.
I am a writer for the local newspaper in Milledgeville. If you would be at all interested, I would love to talk with you about these images and your decision to photograph other mental health facilities that are undergoing the same fate as central state.

Anonymous said...

A couple of things from me:

1) My aunt was the head of food services for the State of Georgia's prison systems. They are based in the large kitchens that are on the Central State campus. Right out the back of the kitchens building, the crematory (plus about seven or eight gravesites marked only by small roundstones) are right there. Even the occupied buildings there at Central State have a strange feeling to them.

2) My grandfather stayed in the Georgia War Veterans Home, which is also on campus. While it has no direct link to the old hospitals, it does continue the good work of the hospitals there. Many of the veterans there are sweet older people who crave visitors. If you go, make sure to stop there for a few.

Ann said...

Is this place still there? Could someone post the address? I want to check it out!

crackerboytrekk said...

Hey Giampaolo, you can drop down to a good shot of the roofs & sides on Google earth.you can also use it to get a rolling 3 or 4 side street view. The Powell building is the huge white domed building at the top of the hill. Leaving the front of the Powell and across the st. to the rt. Is the Walker building you viewed in his photographs. Also below the Powell is the large pecan orchard that devide the two rows of the main relics. Across the pecan orchard from the Walker building is the amazing Jones building. Should you desire more info you could contact me at deepbluecrow@gmail. com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your photos. When I see photos like these they always touch my heart, People do not know some of the stories behind the now peeling paint rooms at one time there was someone there. My grandmother was a patient there from 1942 until 1974.
As a little girl my first visits in the 50's was in a building with wood flooring with rocking chairs. Later into a building with half green,half cream painted walls and a dark green vynal sofa to sit on.My grandmother couldn't verbally communicate. She always had the saddest eyes. One year My mother,father and I visited only to find my grandmother with all of her fingers on both hands had been broken and dried feces were matted in her remaining hair they had cut her hair right before they brought her out for a visit. My mother vowed somehow she would get her mother out. In 1974 she did. My grandmother you could say was one of the lucky ones she got out. My grandmother passed away 1986. Every empty room have a soul and every soul have a story.Thanks M.D.georgia

Anonymous said...

My aunt was institutionalized at the hospital because she had seizures caused from having been accidentally dropped when she was an infant by an older sister. I never met her, but I have been told she was taken there when she was 16 or 17 and died there at age 40 in 1961. I was told she was institutionalized to protect her from getting pregnant, which blows my mind considering what must have happened to teenage girls there. I was told that whenever family members visited her she would cry and beg for them to take her home. This just kills me. Her father was a prominent physician, so I really have a hard time understanding my sweet aunt being left there. So very, very sad. I would like to honor her memory by visiting her grave, but have read the cemetery is mostly unmarked. I requested her records, but never heard from anyone at the hospital. Being one of only a few of her remaining relatives, I want to do whatever I can to honor her memory. I just wish I'd been old enough to rescue her from that horrible life.

crackerboytrekk said...

Please contact me at
deepbluecrow@gmail.com as I would find Any story fascinating and I may well have a book in me. Grateful, Trent

Anonymous said...

I am a social worker at a Georgia Regional Hospital, and today I visited Central State for training. Although I have been to the campus many yeas ago, today I really looked at the condemned buildings with rusty iron grates and broken glass. I could not help but wonder about the hundreds of people who once occupied these buildings and their stories. So intrigued, I looke up the hospital's history tonight. I stumbled across this pag, and I have mixed feelings. I think the photos are awesome...they show the loneliness that I can only assume many patients felt. In regards to the treatment of people with mental illness, I KNOW things have greatly changed! I'm not saying they are where they should be, but they are not where they were.

As a mental health provider at a state hospital, thes pics are important to me, because they refocus my view of how I work with individuals...reminding me that they people who are vulnerable, scared, lonely, and often without a voice loud enough for others to listen. So, thank you for your work in displaying these photos.

crackerboytrekk said...

These photographs are Brilliant! They speak to the truth of time and deed. I was surprised you didn't shoot the exterior or the interior of other buildings. Looks like a fine afternoon s work.
What price have you placed on individual shots?
If anyone believes anybody has Ever Received Permission to enter these buildings I'm afraid you are dead wrong. The buildings are deeply saturated with nasty water, drifts and drifting asbestos, tons of lead paint, crumbling heavy plaster, areas where the floors are giving-way, etc. sect.... You are on your on getting in.

Anonymous said...

You've done great photo work. Thank You.

Wendy Coordsen said...

I had two relatives that lived, died, and are buried at this place. I never met them as they both died before I was born, but am very interested in history and tours. I am researching them for my family history. One was my grandmother's aunt and the other was my grandmother's brother. I have the numbers for their burial plots and would be interested in visiting the cemetery there. I am looking for information on tours and visiting hours. The pictures provided here are amazing. It paints a really sad picture. Any information would be very helpful. wcoordsen@aol.com

Anonymous said...

at one point the largest employer in central ga by far, both my parents took jobs here in 1968 when I was 3 and my brother was 4.
we spent the next 15 years living on the csh campus,about 5 minutes walk from walker bldg. for those who have not been and are asking for an address, you must understand that this is not just one hospital building but many hospitals and support structures spread out over vast acreage, it is more like a city than anything else with its own police and fire departments.
I can remember as a child that patients roamed the grounds freely and we even had some of them walk into our house on several occasions! I also remember lying in bed on full moon nights and listening to the howling and screaming of the more "lost" patients. I suppose that seems odd now, but at the time it was all we knew and it seemed
'normal'.
my mother became friends with several patients there, a lot of women were put out there to get rid of them so their husbands could live free of them, I guess divorce was seen as unseemly.
also remember my cousin visiting from fla. and him being blown away by the naked patients in the windows of the building across from our house "boland bldg.?".
as I said, this is not just one bldg., it would take you a few hours to just drive around all of the buildings, much less tour any of them. I still live just a few minutes from here and would be glad to take some exterior shots if anyone is interested.

Anonymous said...

My mother was there in the 1960s. She hated it - the whole place. She would beg my father to let her come home. Medical and psych communities were naive and stupid back then. She received shock treatment and drugs but never recovered because what she needed was someone to talk to who understood her issues, and that was never the dumb, southern men who comprised most of the medical community. And why would an institution bury people without some documentation? Now that is insane. I am saddened by these photos.

Beth Newman Joest said...

My great grandfather was admitted and died here in 1924. I cannot seem to find any burial information for him in any of the counties he lived in. Makes me wonder what happened to him.

Barbara said...

I am 61 years old and just found out that my grandmother was a patient. It is so sad that I never knew her.....Thank you for the beautiful but haunting pictures. I find a need to visit. I am amazed that the buildings still stand.

Anonymous said...

My aunt lived here for a time, until her ward closed down. From there, she was moved to one nursing home to the next. It breaks my heart for her as she could've lived a seemingly "normal" life had she not been "put away" per the advice of doctors. My grandmother and Grandfather I can only imagine had no idea ho to help her, but at the same time I can't help but to wonder if the just didn't want to deal with her given that she wasn't "normal". I don't like to think that she wasn't wanted, but it's hard to come to any other conclusion. Driving down there recently and riding thru just gave me such a sense of overwhelming loneliness as I can only guess that's how the patients must've felt, lonely and unwanted. So disturbing and sad.

Anonymous said...

I found these photos while I was looking for articles relating to an escape from this institution. I was 7 and in the second grade when someone escaped, broke into a home, then proceeded to hold a second grade class and 2 third grade classes hostage at gunpoint on the playground at Southside Elementary School. It was just before Christmas in 1975.

Cindy Hr said...

In 1974 or 1975, I was required to go there for part of my education at UGA. All I remember is walking through a huge room, for the criminally insane. They were drugged up and chained to the crib-like beds. I left and cried out to God all the way back to Athens.

I have worked for many years with students who probably would have been sent there, had they been living 40 years prior. I am so thankful to have helped them with a quality of life and loving care. I can't imagine how horrible it was.

Thanks for posting the pictures and allowing us to comment. There are many bldgs. in Bwk., GA that need your camera!!

Anonymous said...

I lived on Central State Complex for 9 years when I was married to a prison warden. There were 5 prisons in the area. Baldwin State Prison is where my husband was warden. Buildings on the Central State Complex that had been converted into prisons were known as: Rivers, Bostick, Men's, and Scott. My son worked at the auditorium (which is thought by some, to be haunted). He had keys to the museum and if someone wanted to tour it, they scheduled it with him. I was amazed at the poor conditions under which old photos, documents, & news articles were being maintained. There were unlocked filing cabinets with old patient files and old photos falling out of cardboard boxes. While it's a sad part of the past, it's still items that can never be replaced. One newspaper article I saw there, was mentioned in a previous comment by someone who was in 2nd grade when a patient escaped and went to a school. My son has some VERY INTERESTING stories about maintenance employees, inspectors from state fire marshals office, etc., who wouldn't go alone into certain areas of the auditorium or Jones Building next door. We also experienced strange occurrances in the state house assigned to us on the complex. Central State Hospital is a very interesting , but sad place. There's too much to be learned from what remains of it, for it to be forgotten.

Patty G said...

To the commenter who left the following comment- I grew up hearing that my grandmother was a nutritionist out at CSH for many years- don't know if the term "nutritionist" is code for cafeteria worker or what, but her name was Mamie (Johns, Rowland, Duncan, Hall) She was married several times. Wondering if we may be talking of the same person... Her sister was Lila Mae Johns (Tyndal).

"My aunt was the head of food services for the State of Georgia's prison systems. They are based in the large kitchens that are on the Central State campus. Right out the back of the kitchens building, the crematory (plus about seven or eight gravesites marked only by small roundstones) are right there. Even the occupied buildings there at Central State have a strange feeling to them."

Anonymous said...

I was a patient there in the 1990 I have seen and heard things unimaginable truely a dark place

Anonymous said...

I am a survivor of central state want to tell my story

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen anyone make a comment about the Arnall Building. I'm not sure I spelled it right, but I worked there while I was a student at Georgia College in 1971. I remember many of the patients there who were very interesting people. One in particular was Margaret Harrow, she was a beautiful older women who really didn't like being with the others. She called them Commoners. I also remember that Herman Talmadges , secretary was in and out while I worked there. She stood out because she was dressed so much nicer than the others.

Anonymous said...

Appreciating architectural and photographic beauty has nothing to do with minimizing the goings on of old places like this one. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

My great grandmother was in this hospital for most of her adult life. It is heart-breaking to imagine how she lived. Thanks for these!

Arthur Green said...

These photos reminded me of the closing credits of the film, "Papillon".

Anonymous said...

I can remember being a little girl and having to go down vinson HWY and passing by this place. The people at the windows looking out always scared me to death, then later how they would just walk up to your car and try and get in. Didnt they just open the doors and release the ones that had no where to go?

Anonymous said...

that building is now a probation/ parole office I believe

Anonymous said...

that building is now a probation/ parole office I believe

Anonymous said...

I remember very well about the one that escaped and went to a school. The name of that school at the time was Southside elm. Thanks to a teacher at the time she and her class were saved due to her putting a bullet in wrong in the gun and it jamming!!
I have many memories of Csh.

Anonymous said...

To the young lady asking about her grandfather, Dr. Roberto Perdomo...I worked with him in the Freeman Building on a male admissions ward. If I remember correctly (and I may not), he had also been trained as a dentist before completing medical school. He was a very nice man with a pleasant demeanor and I enjoyed working with him (I was a Social Work Technician at the time).