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yankee structures

There’s almost too much going on in this photo; with the bright afternoon sunlight careening around all the architectural details, everything seems to be vying for attention.

I prefer softer light for these type of shots – perhaps a high overcast day as on the previous post – but nothing remotely close to that was going to happen here until the sun came off the building, probably a couple hours out. And I was in transit.

Such are the realities of serendipitous shooting. But this one is growing on me.


These guys are staying in practice or have a sense of humor … or both.


Ahh, the hometown – where I spent the first 18 years of my life. Three thousand people living there then, and now.

Here’s the main intersection (looking NNE) with the Town Hall and the war memorials, including the new one for WWII veterans.

“Westside Pride”, the unit shown here, (small town minimalism to be sure), was one of sixty that came out to march on this Memorial Day, and the rain held off till later in the day.



Oceanside, Madison, CT

April 24, 2017

This shoreline cottage is probably magnificent any time of the year, but early spring is when I’m most apt to drop by to photograph. (Thank you, Margaret!)

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Habitat, Madison, CT

April 7, 2017


Voila, Norwich, CT

March 28, 2017

I was surprised to find that some of these Norwich State Hospital properties are now owned by a neighbor, Mark, who introduced himself on my return visit there. He did give me permission to wander around (though a bit grudgingly), with the caveat: ” If you need me to call Rescue or the police, I will, but will tell them I don’t know you and that you were trespassing..” Fair enough.

He told me that the House of Lords, a rock band associated with Gene Simmons, recently made their music video “Harlequin” on the grounds, and hinted at something paranormal captured in the video. A couple of tradesmen who had joined us concurred. Check out the video here, with the “paranormal” bit circa 3:22, in the shaft of light at the back of the room.

Not intending to have the backstory take away from the photo itself, which very much stands on its own for me.


Psychedelia, Norwich, CT

March 25, 2017

You would think this frosted glass – in a corridor at a long abandoned state psych hospital – would have been much too stimulating for residents walking by, but who knows?

There may have been some who actually looked forward to the view, if only to bring a little magic into the oppressive realities of institutional life.

Myself, I can’t stay with it long, which is one of the reasons I shot it with a lot of black on the bottom and side.


Abandoned, Norwich, CT

March 11, 2017

Norwich Hospital opened its doors in October 1904 as the “Norwich State Hospital for the Insane”, and remained operational until October 10, 1996. At its height, the patient population, individuals who were deemed “mentally ill”, reached 3184 in 1955. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, with over forty contributing buildings.

Many community based agencies picked up the task of caring for these individuals as treatment philosophies (and medications) shifted over the years. Sometimes, a court order was necessary for the states to begin “deinstitutionalizing” patients, that is, providing the resources to effectively treat mental health issues closer to home.

I was with one such CT agency in the 1990’s (and also did similar work in MA in the 1980’s), that helped some of these Norwich Hospital residents settle back into their home towns. It was oftentimes difficult work, made easier by incredibly talented colleagues, and in the end, richly rewarding.

So here I am, driving by this hospital today, and of course I had my camera, so I visited some of the buildings. Might be worth the effort to continue photographing there, though I’m sure many people have recorded the fallen grandeur of the place. Matthew Christopher for one has some amazing images at his website here, which are also compiled into one of his books here.


Mud Season, Colrain, MA

March 8, 2017

This was a day that hit 60 degrees, and, not coincidently, ushered in the beginning of mud season. Another harbinger of Spring – when the sap starts running – began a few days earlier. That usually happens in mid to late winter when daytime temps move above freezing.