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Need a new secret lair? On a budget?
August 30, 2010 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Want a new secret lair, but don't like the Adirondacks? On a bit of a budget? How about a Kirkbride design State Hospital in Fergus Falls, Minnesota? It comes with it's own Flickr set, for your informed shopping
posted by pjern (30 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was just going to post something about this but I was checking with cortex about whether it's a double. This was my post:

"Many existing Kirkbride buildings maintained a central place in the institutions which began within their walls, but by the end of the 20th century most had been completely abandoned or demolished. A few have managed to survive into the 21st century intact and still in use, but many that survive sit abandoned and decaying—their mysterious grandeur intensified by their derelict condition." Originally numerous, currently there is one "complete example" left in the US, and it is for sale, for a dollar. previously

That said I think I'll try to buy the prison. It's closer.
posted by jessamyn at 2:29 PM on August 30, 2010


Oh, wow. I sure hope some of it gets restored.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:33 PM on August 30, 2010


Per Kirkbrides being repurposed, also see this post of mine: Danvers
posted by zarq at 2:40 PM on August 30, 2010


Holy cow, look at the size of the thing. I mean, it says that they're 606,911 square feet of buildings on 36.66 acres of land. But a real aerial view gives you a better sense of scale.

And for $1. Wow.
posted by zarq at 2:46 PM on August 30, 2010


It boggles the mind how a ready use for something like this cannot be found.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:49 PM on August 30, 2010


Um. Okay.

Woo, awesome.

Awwwwwww.

Okay, I'll take it.
posted by Gator at 2:51 PM on August 30, 2010


Reminds me of the resort in The Shining, but in MN. "Here's Yonny! Wit da lutefisk."
posted by ShadePlant at 2:51 PM on August 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Man, I hope this survives somehow. But that is a lot of outdated space.

It would be the perfect place for an autonomous, anarco-syndicalist commune to establish themselves.
posted by maxwelton at 2:52 PM on August 30, 2010


It boggles the mind how a ready use for something like this cannot be found.

Gutting it and brining it up to modern building code is probably more expensive than simply tearing it down and building something made of concrete shaped like a box. $5 says it's got asbestos like a stray dig has fleas. :(
posted by GuyZero at 2:53 PM on August 30, 2010


Hey, does it come with the cemetery?
posted by Gator at 3:02 PM on August 30, 2010


I have no idea what I want it for, but I do know that I wants it.

I mean, it's not like it would give my kids a complex to grow up in an asbestos ridden former mental institution... It even comes with pet bats!
posted by sonika at 3:09 PM on August 30, 2010


It would be the perfect place for an autonomous, anarco-syndicalist commune to establish themselves.

I'm in! I've got $5.63!

(A plan for development and proof of private development capital is also required.)

I wish The Man would get his boot off my HEAD!
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:13 PM on August 30, 2010


I love that it's listed on Craigslist.
posted by kcds at 3:14 PM on August 30, 2010


Oh good, Incinerator Road runs through it. I'm sure it's neither haunted nor cursed.
posted by oinopaponton at 3:14 PM on August 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


That building is in fantastic shape compared to the others I have seen. It also looks like they were in midst of rennovations and updating.

So all I need is a plan and a couple of mil and then it is mine for a dollar! What a steal!
posted by psycho-alchemy at 3:27 PM on August 30, 2010


There is more than "one 'complete example' left in the US." I can stick my head out of my office window and see another one. The South Carolina State Hospital (links in that post are borked, the segments are online here: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). It was still partially operational as of October 2007 when a protracted legal battle came to a close clearing a path for it to be purchased and turned into a "new urbanist" walkable community designed by Andrés Duany. But between litigation over who should get the proceeds, political fights over how the property should be developed, and the economy nose-diving, the deal pretty much fell apart. The property may eventually be sold, but now the buyer will just chop it up into lots and resell them and split the proceeds with the state.
posted by ND¢ at 3:29 PM on August 30, 2010


wat
posted by delmoi at 4:12 PM on August 30, 2010


wat

if it is anything like the State Hospital where I grew up, it spent a month or two out of the year playing off the spooky vibe as a haunted sanitarium.
posted by Tchad at 4:21 PM on August 30, 2010


These buildings are very cool looking, but their sheer hugeness makes maintenance so crazy expensive. It's hard to imagine that at one point there was enough people there to warrant the size.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:02 PM on August 30, 2010


As I posted on your FB page Jess, I went through rehab there in 1979. This was my home for 7 months. I also spent a year there (1984 and 1984) as a counselor/intern and lived on the grounds.

This was my walk to and from the cafeteria during the winter months. Spooky!

When I did my internship there in 1983, I was attacked by a patient, just around the bend from this shot. He tried to cut me with a butter knife but luckily I was with two people who were able to restrain him. He had it in his head to come after me.

I wish there were more pics of the tunnel system because it was pretty awesome (a big green door with the word "MORGUE" written on it) and I still have weird dreams about being stuck in it. There were also a number of small cottages on the grounds that were nice too.

I hope they sell it and someone preserves it and/or uses it for good.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:09 PM on August 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


There was a local article a few days ago about a couple who turned a Minnesota Poor Farm into a studio/salon...but that was "only" 9000 sq ft.
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 7:37 PM on August 30, 2010


"The Kirkbride design Fergus Falls State Hospital is five minutes from everywhere in historic Fergus Falls..."

Oh. How convenient!

"...66 miles from the Fargo/Moorhead SMA and its international airport, 114 miles from the St. Cloud MSA, 176 miles from Minneapolis/St Paul MSA"

Nevermind. Also, Fargo may be an "international airport," but their flight schedule doesn't list a single international flight.
posted by zachlipton at 12:59 AM on August 31, 2010


"Nevermind. Also, Fargo may be an "international airport," but their flight schedule doesn't list a single international flight."


Only to Transylvania.
posted by rigby99 at 1:14 AM on August 31, 2010


Nevermind. Also, Fargo may be an "international airport," but their flight schedule doesn't list a single international flight.

SSSSH! Don't tell anyone! They might take away our cheap direct flights to Vegas.

My wife calls the Fargo airport ("Hector International Airport," after to the farmer who provided the land) the Fisher-Price Airport because it's so tiny and compact. Picking up my brother from the airport, my wife's first time at the airport, we drove in, pulled into a parking spot that was front-bumper against a strip of grass and a narrow road that separated us from the front doors of the airport. Wifey thought that we got a good parking spot at the tram station that would take us to the actual airport. Nope, ten steps and across a road and we were inside the airport. The airport has a replica wright flyer hanging from the ceiling, and an escalator, and a restaurant, and five gates!
posted by AzraelBrown at 4:43 AM on August 31, 2010


Lots of things near Fargo and Grand Forks that can fly internationally, but their only passenger is named Merv. I mean, MIRV. http://www.wday.com/event/image/id/252/
posted by wenestvedt at 5:51 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm holding out for a hollow dormant volcano for my lair. Please memail me if you see one turn up.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:49 AM on August 31, 2010


What I wouldn't give for some development capital...
posted by valkyryn at 7:17 AM on August 31, 2010


My wife calls the Fargo airport ("Hector International Airport," after to the farmer who provided the land) the Fisher-Price Airport because it's so tiny and compact.

Try Bismarck before the (very nice) renovation of the terminal. "Which gate does your flight arrive at?" "Uhhh.... the left one."
posted by nathan_teske at 7:54 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


$5 says it's got asbestos like a stray dig has fleas.

Phil: Look, you know what, can I ask you a quick question?
Security Guard: Yeah, sure.
Phil: Um, when was the hospital actually closed?
Security Guard: '85.
Phil: '85. Yeah, because, you know, I'm curious, because, you know, they got you, and you got the fire-arm on, and it's not like people are trying to get out, right?
Security Guard: No. No, not out - in.
Phil: In?

posted by FatherDagon at 11:53 AM on August 31, 2010


I wonder what the property tax on that thing is?

That's why an aircraft carrier might make more sense. (sorry, couldn't find the old metafilter post about us getting together to buy a nuclear one that was for sale... sure, we'll have to come up with fissionables, but that'll probably be less than the property tax on this magnificent lair)
posted by porpoise at 6:41 PM on August 31, 2010


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