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These images were all taken at the former site of the Western State Lunatic Asylum in Staunton, VA. Founded in 1825 and opening in 1828, Western State was the second mental health hospital in the state of Virginia. The large beautiful campus was meant to utilize the tranquil surroundings as part of the patients' treatment. In its later years there was scandal involving the use of eugenics, which is unfortunately how most people know the name of the hospital.

Now known as Western State Hospital, the institution is still running, though now at a different location and with modern amenities. In the early 2000s this campus was purchased to be used as a jail, then after only a few years was left abandoned. Currently the buildings are being renovated into upscale condominiums.

These images are from 2011/2012 inside the buildings that have not yet been renovated as well as outside on the grounds of the property, including the massive cemetary in the back.

Click here (pdf) if you would like to read a more descriptive history of Western State, as well as view links to other resources.



(By the way: No, these buildings and grounds are not officially open to visitors. Use your own judgement.)