Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane: Part 2 - A Book Launch, Panel Discussion and Video Screenings with Robert Kirkbride, Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews
Date: Monday, September 19th
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn
In this follow-up to his sold-out lecture in March, Dr. Kirkbride will summarize recent developments in preserving and transforming Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane and the related efforts of PreservationWorks, a non-profit committed to this work. Dr. Kirkbride will be joined by Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews to celebrate and discuss the launch of their new book, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, and will screen several related video projects, including samplings from a documentary-in- process, Greystones Last Stand, and Greystone Rising (Jody Johnson, Lisa Marie Blohm, C. Mathews), which won Best of Architecture category at the 2016 New York City Drone Film Festival. Copies of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital will be available for purchase and the event will include a book signing.
Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, seventy-five "Kirkbride Plan" Asylums were constructed across the United States, Canada and Australia according to the vision of Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, a pivotal figure in the development of Psychiatry in the United States and a forebear of Robert Kirkbride. Although conceived under the Enlightenment belief in the therapeutic powers of beauty, and despite egalitarian ideals to provide a dignified place of care for the placeless, these asylums offer cautionary reminders of the frailties of human infrastructures and bureaucratization in the name of efficiency.
There are complex and conflicting views toward the preservation or destruction of Kirkbride Hospitals. Embracing this complexity is critical to the imaginative reuse of these immense structures, which average hundreds of thousands of square feet and offer remarkable examples of architectural know-how, embodied energy and memory, personal and communal. They also offer remarkable opportunity. Recently, in the wake of the needless and highly contested demolition of Greystone Park State Asylum, in Parsippany, N.J., a national organization has emerged to advocate the preservation and adaptive reuse of the remaining 34 Kirkbride Hospitals.
Robert Kirkbride is spokesperson for PreservationWorks, a new 501c3 committed to preserving Kirkbride Plan hospitals by sharing knowledge and resources to support local efforts and educate the public on the historic and global significance of these irreplaceable structures. Their revitalization is commonsense and achievable, strengthening economic growth and cultural identity in their respective communities. Robert Kirkbride, Ph.D., is Dean of Parsons School of Constructed Environments and Associate Professor of Architecture and Product Design at Parsons School of Design, in New York City.
He is also director of studio patafisico and Spokesperson and founding Trustee for PreservationWorks, a national 501c3 organization committed to the adaptive reuse of remaining Kirkbride Plan Hospitals. Dr. Kirkbride designed the Morbid Anatomy Museum with collaborator Anthony Cohn, and authored the award-winning multimedia online book, Architecture and Memory, which focuses on two Renaissance memory chambers. Kirkbride has been a visiting scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, architect-in- residence at the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, Italy, and established the Giuseppe Zambonini Archive at Parsons/The New School. Robert received his Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill University, and a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts in Design of the Environment from the University of Pennsylvania.
Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews have spent years traveling the country documenting forlorn locations throughout the United States, sharing their deep passion for history and preservation in an effort that has helped generate alliances with many historic societies and preservation organizations. Together, theyve created a website, Antiquity Echoes, that archives these documentarian efforts, and an eponymously titled book offers a guided tour of some of our nation's most compelling abandoned locations. Antiquity Echoes is far more than a collection of photography and text; its an adventure storyone that is enhanced by QR codes linking to videos of these incredible locations.
Morbid Anatomy Museum (View)
424 A Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215