Middle Georgia Tour: Central State Hospital

From down the hill, this building was pretty.

From down the hill, the Walker Building was pretty.

 

Our last stop in Milledgeville was Central State Hospital.  I’m going to let the photos speak more than the words in this post.  The link above gives you the history of the place.  At one point, it was the largest mental institution in the country, and it reflected the changes in how our country dealt (and deals) with mental illness –  both good and bad.

 

 

 

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According to this sign, this building was originally the Male Convalescent Building.  It was built in 1884.  Georgia College, just down the road, was founded in 1889.  Lots going on in Milledgeville in the late 1800s.

 

 

 

The Walker Building

The Walker Building

 

 

It’s pretty, right?  Trees blooming, red brick, interesting architecture, a beautiful spring day.

 

 

 

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But look more closely.  Broken windows, vines growing on the building.  It doesn’t show in this photo, but the roof is gone on much of the building.  I could see blue sky through the roof.

 

 

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When I posted photos of my Middle Georgia trip on Facebook, these photos of Central State got the most comments.  People had memories of Central State or of family members who were sent here.

And I think many of us are fascinated with how “insane” people were treated years ago. 

And now.

 

 

 

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On the building next door, the metal grating on the windows was obvious.

 

 

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Across the pretty park-like space of the main horseshoe from the Walker Building is The Jones Building, the former hospital where patients (from Central State as well as Milledgeville) were treated.

 

 

The Jones Building

The Jones Building

 

 

The “No Trespassing” sign adds “unsafe building and grounds.” 

 

 

 

 

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The Georgia State Seal somehow retains its color.  “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation”

 

 

What does Central State Hospital say to us now?  All of the buildings are not in disrepair.  Some are in use.  Actually many are.  But what about the ones in these photos? 

I don’t have answers. 

But I think pondering is good.

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4 thoughts on “Middle Georgia Tour: Central State Hospital

  1. Hi, Krista! I came across your blog while trying to find information regarding tours of Central State Hospital. Your blog (along with some other photography blogs) seem to be the only places that mention a tour – I can’t figure out how/where to book one, make reservations, find out when they are available, etc.

    Would you mind passing along any information about the tour? Who set it up (i.e. – City of Milledgeville? CSH? Museum? Contact info?), and is it something available all year round? I am writing a fictional Young Adult novel and I’d like to use CSH as part of my setting, but I’d like to take a road trip to check it out. Although I’m not writing about it in a historical way, I’d love to visit and take a few tours, etc.

    Any information you could share would be greatly appreciated! The photos are gorgeous, but I really want to know more about the surrounding area as well. Thank you in advance for anything you can provide!

    • Cherstin, I didn’t take a tour. We just drove to the campus and looked around. There is an administrative office there. Perhaps you could contact them. Plus, I bet Milledgeville has some info. Perhaps a tourism office or Chamber of Commerce? Or even Georgia College. The college had groups that worked with Central State when I was there 33 years ago. Not sure about now. Good luck! I bet you can find someone to help you.

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