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Brownsville General Hospital

Brownsville General Hospital

Brownsville General Hospital - Historic Roadside Image
The Brownsville General Hospital opened its doors in 1914 while still partly under construction. Development was an ongoing affair on the grounds, with the completion of the hospital proper in 1916 only to be immediately followed by an expansion which included a surgical suite just a few years later. This was quickly succeeded soon after by a large nurse's home and school across the street in 1928, dubbed The Horner Medical Nurses Home. You wouldn't discern any of this from looking at the property today though, not because it has fallen into a state of unrecognizable decay, as so often happens, but because it simply no longer exists. So much energy, so many years of building, expansion, and improvement, for nothing but a few pages in a history book somewhere. That, and historic curiosity websites like this of course. So, as is our custom - Let us eulogize what once was, as we examine the fragmented remains of the late Brownsville General Hospital.

What attracted us to the Brownsville grounds some years before its demolition was the utter sense of loss you experienced as soon as you saw it. For decades the former hospital disintegrated behind vines and trees, vandalized, burned, robbed, and in a state of continuing collapse. To this day Brownsville remains one of the most ruinous locations we have ever paid a visit to, but it was in this utter disarray that it shined. Stunning in its complete removal from any traditional sense of beauty - A byproduct of a city that had more important things to do, and more interesting things to pay thought to.

At times walking the hallways of the old hospital was more like gently crossing a swaying suspension bridge. It was not uncommon for the patient rooms directly off the halls to be entirely lost, displaced by a gaping void multiple stories high. The entire contents of the missing rooms; beds, tables, dressers, walls, and floor, crumpled to a heap in the basement. That far-below basement was where most of the hospital had come to reside as the years gradually hollowed out the building, and what scarce wood remained for us to cautiously traverse was temporary at very best, surviving long past its time. Like the hospital itself.

The whole of the structure existed like a fading memory would if plucked from the mind of someone who had once known it long ago. The colors of its walls were long forgotten, its lines had deformed and twisted, and its facade was blurred and obstructed. The hospital had grown to look in all ways as forgotten as it had come to be, lingering as something that was already part of the distant past.

Before the thorns, fires, graffiti, and collapsed floors, this was once the most utilized hospital in the state of Pennsylvania (percentage-wise). Unlike many disused hospitals, which closed down due to poor population numbers, the reverse was true of Brownsville - It was shuttered in the mid-1960s, upon the opening of a modern hospital built close by to better serve the patient population that was overwhelming the old general hospital. The grounds were then privately purchased and converted to an assisted-living facility, which in turn closed in 1985 due to lack of clients as well as rampant claims of abuse and neglect. Brownsville General rotted away from that day forth, abandoned on the roadside until its unceremonious razing in January of 2021.

 



 
 
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Historic Panorama

Brownsville General Hospital - A Storm Rolls In
A square block of wild-growing nature where once a hospital stood.


Brownsville General Hospital - Stonework Detail
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Grey Skies
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Decayed Bedroom

Brownsville General Hospital - Imploding
To say that the hospital was in a frail state would be a considerable understatement.
 
 


Brownsville General Hospital - Fallen Floors
Beds piled upon beds, all collapsed into the basement.
 
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Patient Bedroom Covered in Filth
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Exposed Tiles
A small patch of surprisingly colorful tile, exposed from below inches of filth.
 
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Upper Floor
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Exposed Brick
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Nurses
A group of nurses from Brownsville General pose in front of a billboard promoting blood donations.
 
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Ivy-Covered Wing
 Some portions of the old hospital appeared more ivy than brick.
 
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Overgrown Property
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Wooden Porches Sag with Age
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Nurses' Home from Street
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Nurses' Home Entrance
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Nurses' Home Porch

Brownsville General Hospital - Nurses' Home
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Curtains Still Hang
 
Brownsville General Hospital - View from Nurses' Home
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Former Lobby
The old lobby, torn apart years ago.
 
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Floral Sitting Area
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Rusting Bedframes
 


Brownsville General Hospital - A Sudden Drop
In many areas bedroom doors opened to a sheer drop.
 
 
Brownsville General Hospital - A Bed Rests in Shadow

Brownsville General Hospital - Collapsing Bedroom



Brownsville General Hospital - Peeling Paint in a Patient Bedroom

Brownsville General Hospital - Weathering Away

Brownsville General Hospital - Splintered
 
Brownsville General Hospital - Farewell Brownsville
 
 Brownsville General Hospital - Historic View from Street