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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psychiatric Center, near the village of Willard, Orvid and Seneca Lake/Finger Lakes Region
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Comments from visitors:
On 04/02/12 Robin Wetherbee Hamel writes "These beautiful old buildings move me. I worked for the center (mostly in the community) for 12 years but I was part of the psychiatric rehabilitation team who readied the patients to move into the community and I spent many long days on the campus. I even remember exploring old, closed buildings using the huge old-fashioned key that unlocked every door. It was an amazing place in it's heyday and the buildings attest to the good and the bad of all those years. I have a old VCR tape on 'Historic Chapin House' and I love that too. I wish the very best to all the old employees and all the patients who ever walked the halls. Fondly, Robin Hamel RNC"
On 06/05/13 Susan Lominska writes "My aunt Vera L. Smith MD was a psychiatrist at Willard. She died in 1980."

Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Comments from visitors:
On 10/28/11 AymeeSue writes "These are great...I have just about the same shots..You are lucky and got more than I did.."

Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
In 1864 Dr. Sylvester D. Willard of Albany was the Secretary of the State Medical Society.  Legislature authorized him to investigate the condition of the insane and he submitted a report in 1865.  This report resulted in the creation of an asylum but since Dr. Willard died that same year, they named the asylum after him.
The Willard Asylum opened on October 13, 1869 and was the first United States institution for chronically ill patients, employing more sophisticated diagnosis and treatment methods then previous mental hospitals.   
At one time farmland was included on the property, which the patients worked on, and is now part of Bonavista State Park Golf Course.
Later it was named the Willard Psychiatric Center and in 1975 was listed on the National Registry of History Places.  In the mid 1980's one of the original buildings was demolished.  The entire facility  closed in the Spring of 1995 and has been empty ever since.  It is located on the grounds of the new psych center, owned by the DOC.
On Dec 7, 2007 427 forgotten trunks and suitcases were found in an attic and are now part of a traveling exhibit (see link here).
The center is huge and among other things had a lab, various meeting halls, a projection room, and a cemetery (where over 6000 patients were buried over the years).
  Fixtures and wheelchairs and furniture still sits inside, as well as surgical and morgue equipment.  More pictures are here and vintage ones can be found here at the official website.
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Comments from visitors:
webduster on 8/24/11 wrote "I just read through the site telling the stories of a few of the patients that lived there, via the things found in their luggage in the attic, wow, poignant stuff, reality is better, and sadder, than fiction. I hope they were happy sometimes."

On 1/8/12 Dr. Rehab writes about "The cemetery if you can call it that" - "I live in the area and am a social worker by trade. I recently went to the cemetery and was expecting nothing lavish but I thought there would be some kind of marker for each grave or at least for a group of graves. What I found was a huge open field with high grass and not marker one. I found probably some of the first grave sites in a grove of small trees. About 57 graves marked by cast iron markers with a number in each one. So that's 57 out of 5776. If you took the time you could figure out where some of the rows of graves were stretched out for a hundred yards an a row three feet apart from the next or the row above or below. In one section the graves had sunk about two feet after the caskets rotted and the graves were not filled back in leaving it perfectly obvious where some poor mishappen tortured soul was more or less dumped. There must have at one time been more markers because I found cement blocks in the nearby woods that had been dumped there each with a rusted number on it. All tossed in a pile. It must have been to hard to mow around them once a year.  In any case there were only about 30 of them.
There also was in one corner what I think was a cemetery for indigent Civil War vets. These had nice markers and seemed to be taken care of. It was a strange afternoon walk that showed how as a society we have historically delt with people with anguish we can only imagine." better, and sadder, than fiction. I hope they were happy sometimes."
On 2/27/12 scoutbob writes "Just this weekend, the Scout troop I help lead ventured down to Camp Babcock-Hovey, which is not far from the facility. Most of us were not familiar with the area. The boys chose to do a geocache that they had found information on. It turned out that the cache was a little over a mile north of the camp. Our hiking venture ended up taking us onto the property. We came out of the woods just south of the old psych center building. Very eerie, yet intersting. We walked out to the main road, discovering that we were, in fact, on DOC land (oops!). The geocache that we were following was called "Dead Crazy". It was not until we go to the cemetary grounds, just around the corner from the center, that we realized what we were stumbling upon. We found the iron markers around the area where the geocache was hidden. We then wandered over to where the civil war cemetary markers were. I found this very awe-inspiring, yet sad that these veterans seem to be in a forgotten area. There is also an area marked as the 'Old Jewish Cemetary', where jewish patients had been buried. I would love to get the chance to do a little more exploring of this very interesting place."

Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Comments from visitors:
terrydaktil writes "This is a classic example of good public building and design, However if you look closely at the brickwork quality, it is obvious that there has been no regard given to the standard of workmanship, the bonding is absolute rubbish. Such a pity, because this could have been an icon of construction if there had been an iota of supervision."

Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Taken on 06/16/10
Old Willard Psych Center
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Comments from visitors:
CharlesB writes "A great collection of shots of the old psych center ! It is larger than I imagined and complete with the architectural gems, like belfries, etc. This website puts you in a powerful position to ask permission to do a photo essay on, say, the insides of such structures. Have you ever received any on-line or written reviews of the "Old Abandoned Buildings" website ? If the owners don't remove these buildings, they might secretly desire to have them noticed. I think I further wondered if someone came out with a bi-monthly magazine on abandoned structures of different kinds - homes, barns, train stations, churches, etc. it might have a wide audience. Something is feeding this frenzy. Look at the number of new books that have been published recently on Amazon on this subject." 
 
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