Photo of the month (July 5th, 2012):
Bolivar State Hospital, Tennessee
Bolivar was the last hospital I visited on my most recent photography trip to the South. The trip took 18 days and took me across 14 states. Bolivar graced me with its presence; a beautiful old institution with a mixture of occupied and abandoned buildings and of course, a rich history. I crawled through spiderwebs and dust to get through some of buildings and get some of these images. What amazed me most is how intact this history was. This is the first institution I have visited that still had a morgue in tact, though not in use. On the third floor the old operating rooms (stripped of tables and equipment) still have signs above each door: major and minor operations. The buildings screamed of stories. Most importantly, the buildings old and new told the story of lack of funding, of program cuts, of forgotten people, and of the struggling system of care.