Monday, November 9, 2009

She's wacko! Take her to Bellevue

The funny farm. The psych ward. The nut house. This is the original joint. Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital featured in tons of Manhattan based film noirs of the 40s and 50s, just the place to drop off Joan Crawford or Susan (I Want to Live!) Hayward when their blood pressure went berserk. Independent dames were immediate candidates for a section 8, and Bellevue was just the place to make em wake up and smell the coffee. And it retains it spooky air...shock treatments, experimental drugs, strait jackets..oh the humanity!!



30 comments:

Kitty said...

hm...why is it I thought parts of Bellevue were still functional? Is it, Ken, or is it completely shut down?

Paula said...

Terry Gross interviewed a former Bellvue doctor on Fresh Air who worked the weekend shift at Bellvue for ten years. Can you just imagine what she experienced? Happily, she seemed very compassionate and thoughtful. It's fascinating to see what it really look(s)(ed) like.

Virginia said...

I'm thinking I should be tickled pink I never lived in NYC... my tail would have ended up right there! Whew, dodged that bullet!
V

MyVintageCameras said...

The name too is so ironic...Bellevue, or Beautiful View?

Rob (Mr DL) said...

Somedays I feel most people belong there.

Lori Skoog said...

Your perspective on these shots makes them scarier....

joo said...

OK, I don't know the story behind, but the building is wonderful!!! The second picture is my favourite - can imagine it when ivy is green.

Julie said...

Love your text and the final photo with the bars is wonderfully ironic.

Adam said...

Windows you can open, ten stories up? Is that a good idea?

Birdman said...

Bet it's got a few 'haunts' walking the halls at night!

Cyd said...

Fortunately, mental illness is coming out of the shadows, with the amazing work of organizations such as:

www.nami.org

Please help end the stigma against mental illness.

It is not a joke or a character flaw.

B SQUARED said...

A very scary place then and now.

Hilda said...

Both your photos and your commentary make it so scary and creepy!

EV Grieve said...

There has been -- seriously -- talk of turning this place into a hotel...

Daryl said...

Thanks for posting these pix, I cannot believe I have lived my entire life here in NYC and never have seen Bellevue before .. maybe that's a good thing?

altadenahiker said...

You forgot Happy Hotel and Loony Bin.

These shots will give me nightmares for weeks. (But then, so does Joan Crawford.)

Jarart said...

If walls could talk! I would expect a few hauntings here.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Funny (& true) commentary with cool photos!
The dormant ivy makes it look even spookier.

marley said...

I'll have a padded cell for one please!

Great looking building and nice collection of photos.

Rob (Mr DL) said...

FYI - Photoshop Elements 8.0 is out for PC, 7.0 for Mac...I believe it is 7.0 for Mac anyway. It is approx. a $90 program, with RAW conversion. my 5.0 Elements does not have RAW conversion. Thursday is when I upgrade to 8.0. Lightroom 3 is due to release spring 2010.

Tanya said...

A hotel? No way! Love the photos....Old mental hospitals are so creepy to me!

BANJO52 said...

Glad to see, finally, what it looks like. I'll try to be a good boy.

Dave said...

A sad place Ken.... - Dave

-K- said...

I've always heard about it but this is the most I've ever seen of it.

I think its also where Don Burnam was taken in Billy Wilder's "Lost Weekend."

Favorite quote: Delirium is a disease of the night. Good night.

Melanie said...

I agree with CYD above--finally mental illiness is out of the closet-it does not discriminate between the sexes by the way--Bellevue is a great teaching hospital for other modalities and they have a great acupunture clinic and their pain management clinic is one of the best too.

Melanie said...

Knowing the history behind Bellevue Psych Ward--these photos are frightening and beautifully austere. You capture this very well Ken Mac.

Ming the Merciless said...

New York Magazine did a fabulous article on the Bellevue Hospital a couple years ago. Being a non-New Yorker until the late 1990s, I didn't know much of the history behind it until I read about it.

Renee Finberg said...

i loved this post .

Jen McCleve said...

Great post, those pictures do have a spooky charm about them. Was Bellevue a long term mental health facility? I haven't read too much into it, but it seems like quite the place.

Sarah said...

You forgot Happy Hotel and Loony Bin. These shots will give me nightmares for weeks. (But then, so does Joan Crawford.)