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Perrysburg-NY-Tubuculosis Clinic-Abandoned Hospital-Lake Erie-New York-Johnny Joo-6

American photographer Johnny Joo hails from Ohio and has published a book, Empty Spaces, on America’s abandoned places. At just 24 years old, he began photographing abandoned spaces at just 16 years old. Fubiz recently shared his photographs of the abandoned J.N. Adams Memorial Hospital for tuberculosis patients in Perrysburg, New York off Lake Erie, south of Buffalo. What’s interesting about these photos, in addition to the abandoned nature which makes them visually fascinating, is how the architecture reflects so many of the medical beliefs of the time period.

Like we showed in the photographs from the abandoned Ellis Island hospital complex, it was believed that corners allowed disease to fester so there were only rounded corners in the hospital. You can see this in the rotunda space above, a stained glass dining hall.

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Curved hallways were also a popular architectural practice in these types of hospitals at the time. According to The Kingston Lounge, curved hallways had two purposes. First, “their curvature made it impossible to place beds in the connector hallways, which was a common practice at overcrowded hospitals of the era. At the same time, it allowed a greater level of supervision, as doctors and nurses could easily traverse the entire length of the complex, while orderlies and patients could be confined to a single ward.”

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The warp-around exterior porches were also part of the health effort, as it was believed that the fresh, country air would benefit the patients. Built between 1909 and 1912, the campus was set on 649 acres of land with a hilltop view down to Lake Erie.

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Like many historical sites like this, it’s amazing to discover that it was listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places in 1985, and it’s eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At some point, structures like this become abandoned beyond repair and so unstable they warrant demolition, sometimes the ideal result for building owners and governments who do not have or unwilling to find the funds for restoration.

Enjoy the rest of the photo set by Johnny Joo:

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Next, read about NYC’s abandoned hospitals and asylums.

18 Comments

  1. Arleen welker says:

    Beautiful to imagine it in its day
    ….havent visited there in prob 45 yrs…ty for the pictures. If only those WALLS could talk..

  2. Webbee says:

    Took my med classes under that dome in 2001..it was fun to study the architecture when time allowed.

  3. Joe gullo says:

    My Uncle Was there for years. Instead of letting freeloading Leeches in our Country, Places like this should be Maintained for people of this Country.

  4. kim says:

    I also worked here. Such a shame that it has turned into this!!! The dome was so beautiful I can’t believe they have left it there to rot away very sad history left behind…..

  5. Iris says:

    I enjoyed these pictures. I’ve always liked pictures of old buildings. It’s a shame it was left to go to pot.I’m sure it was once a very beautiful place. I especially liked the wrought iron staircase, it’s beautiful and I could imagine it being restored. Looking forward to more of your work. Loved the comments from past employees and patients.

  6. Tamie says:

    I started there in 1981, only 19 years old. Thank you for posting the pictures. I could tell where many of the pictures had been taking although it is a huge institution. The parking circle right out front, to those long front steps to a porch where people would take their breaks. Inside the doors to front foyer was so inviting. On the right were floor wings four stories high and the left was the same. All staffed to care for the residents. We had to carry a ring of keys to get in and out of many areas. Under the dome was hooked to the kitchen which the food being cooked lingered throughout the building. Under the dome residents were fed or ate independently. Right next door was the staffs lunch room. 1981 that place was full. 1983 NY State began making the Community homes slowly moving the residents out to these homes. Stated it would be cheaper than the institution and better living conditions. Did this until the place was empty except the Office Staff. They were move up to a couple of the units but not for long. That is how many of the buildings became that have ben built down the hill right in front of JN Adam. (Named after a man). Asbestos in the basement they claimed another reason for closure. At least The State had turned the Psych center in Gowanda a prison as the emptied those residents out also. So there was hope maybe State would do the same for JN? Not so. Everything was moved to work out of West Seneca JN Adam. Although the main institutions there were closed down also. More Group Homes, Family care, and to private organizations. It once was a Beautiful building/Home in Perrysburg to many. I was informed it had been a TB Hospital in the much earlier years. They would wheel the patients out on those porches for the fresh air and to help in their healing. Was an Awesome view from Ward 11, very top. Yes could see Lake Erie. The bright lights of the city on the Horizon. Views seemed to go on and on. I always wondered Why? Why to empty such a nice, much needed place? And the staff were always willing to assist wherever needed. Last I had heard some individuals were arrested for breaking into JN for stealing the copper piping to sell for money. As I look at the pictures it had been vandalized a great deal. I would love to see your Book when published. I am in hopes you will dig more deeper for a more thorough History of the JN Adam in Perrysburg. Than man’s portrait always hung above that Fireplace in the front foyer. God Bless.

  7. Mark says:

    With some $$$$ this could be made into a luxury resort hotel.

  8. Rose says:

    I started my career at this building working in Housekeeping. It was an interesting building. So sad to see it like this.

  9. Bill Perkins says:

    I worked at JN Adam for many years, it was a awesome & beautiful place…it’s so sad that they have left it go to a state of demolition…:(

    • Deb Ski says:

      I agree with Bill. When I was hired in 1985, I was a Cleaner and those hallways were so Beautiful!!The Lobby had such a Gorgeous fireplace in the middle. Working there helped me grow as a person, met so many wonderful friends that I still have now and the memories I have will be with me forever!!!

  10. Jake says:

    My friends and I visited the old Sanatorium in Perrysburg a few years ago. It’s all technically trespassing, but it was worth it.

    One thing that these photos don’t show is the long driveway leading up to the hospital, that was probably one of the most intense walks of my life, it felt really foreboding.

    Once we got their thought, it was awesome. Did you know that Stained Glass dome is the same one that McKinley was assassinated under? It was moved from Buffalo to Perrysburg only a few years after.

    • michelle young says:

      The McKinley tidbit is incredible! Thanks for sharing Jake!

    • Deb Ski says:

      That DOME is the most Beautiful thing in that part of the Building. It really is a Shame that it’s not taken away and placed somewhere it can be adored!!

  11. Frank R. Bartolotta says:

    I was a patient at the hospital in 1948-1949 for 9 months. I still remember a great deal of my “treatment”.

  12. Juli says:

    I live near it and I never noticed how beautiful it was. They usually don’t let people around there and you could only see so much from the road. These are great photographs

  13. Kate says:

    These photos are amazing!!! How did you go about getting permission to go inside these buildings? I live in Western New York and have tried to find a contact for JN Adams but haven’t yet.

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