Valerie Makepeace - Rockland Psychiatric Center


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Statement

This 600 acre mental institution opened in 1931 utilizing the agrarian philosophy of treatment centered around physical activity and occupational therapy. Eventually, however, it converted to more “scientific” forms of treatment including electro-shock therapy, prefrontal lobotomies and other forms of “healing” that remain controversial today and brought about the pop culture stigma surrounding mental institutions. Allen Ginsberg of the 50’s Beat Generation referenced Rockland in his epic poem “Howl” repeating “I’m with you in Rockland”.

I am most grateful to have had two opportunities to get inside to photograph but alas it has now been closed and destruction has begun on the beautiful theater, bowling alley, workshops, recreation rooms, dorms and gardens scattered throughout the campus.

 

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