Now that I’ve got your attention.
This weeks adventure is back to our normal programming and features the normal shenanigans (Not that restaurant with the stuff on the walls). Stay tuned for carnies, cats and running away from dark figures in creepy underground tunnels.
We visited this site quite a few times over the years.
There being so many buildings on the campus it took us a while to get through them all.
The campus was recently demolished to put up a Costco and other stores, so I can give you more details on this one without feeling bad! The history behind this place is pretty neat.
This was the IOLA campus. In Monroe County the growing number of tuberculosis cases at the local hospitals during the first decade of the twentieth century led to the effort by the County Board of Supervisors to establish a sanatorium for tuberculosis treatment. Despite opposition from some of the Town of Brighton community, use of a site on Westfall Road was initiated in 1909 when a tent was erected to temporarily house a handful of patients. Through the winter of that year the tent was heated by kerosene burners. The following spring a portable house was erected on the site. Shortly after, architect Charles F. Crandall was hired to design the sanatorium’s first permanent buildings.
In 1914 classes began on campus. Classes were originally held in two tents. Four years later, the campus underwent a major expansion. A three-story Infirmary was built near the center of the site and increased the sanatorium’s capacity to 200 patients. At the same time, a service wing was added to the north side of the administration building to provide kitchen and dining facilities. A short time later, a large one-story surgical wing was added to the north side of the infirmary. The growing number of tuberculosis cases required continued expansion of the sanatorium. By the mid 1920’s the facility was treating nearly 600 patients a year.
A steam power plant was built in conjunction with the hospital. The power plant was linked to the buildings of the IOLA complex as well as the Monroe County Community Hospital complex by an extensive system of concrete utility tunnels.
In 1928 a four-story medical wing including x-ray facilities was added to the infirmary. In the late 1920s, with over 400 patients, the IOLA Sanatorium was the largest county tuberculosis facility in New York State. A debate over the future use of the facility began in the Monroe County Board of Supervisors before the tuberculosis facility closed its doors in 1964. Beginning in the mid 1960s, most of the existing buildings on the site were converted to office space and storage areas for county departments. Most of these ceased used in the mid 80’s.
So, back to the fun stuff.
The first time we went it was the normal herp derp of a time. Now, we were still pretty new to exploring only having a few other places under our belts, so upon arriving we parked and oh so obviously ran to the first building we saw on the campus. I probably even flailed my arms. While meticulously devising our plan to enter Jay pulled on the front door…
and it was open.
Facepalm. In we go!
We explored it finding everything was pretty bare. Behind the building, which we later found out was the children’s ward, was a slew of toys and stuft animals. I found a pikachu and obviously took him along for the journey.
To the basement!
Down there we saw that a tunnel had been bricked closed and someone had oh so kindly sledge hammered it back open.
Into the depths!!
I lied, too much water, not enough boot.
I left my Pokemon friend at the entrance and we exited to come back another day with the appropriate gear.
Now, this tunnel we did return to quite a few times. How could we not.
Once we went with some photographers we had met on the interwebs. (Later we concluded that they were kinda weird and it was a bad idea, our parents did warn us about meeting people from online. Ohhh well.)
Frankly, any time we took people it was a bad time, that’s another story.
Regardless, one of the guys with us seemed to have this privileged knowledge of carnies making temporary home in the tunnels, so obviously we were pretty enticed. We got down there to find someone had brought a generator and some speakers like they were setting up shop for a damp, creepy rave dance party.
Black lights and all.
Another time I brought my ex boyfriend and his friends at night. One of which thought it was a really fun idea to play a bumpin’ playlist as loud as possible from his phone the entire time and sing along to it.
I mean we’re not trespassing or anything, yanno?!
Deep breaths, murder is worse. So, we go into the tunnel and as everyone was coming over the broken wall into it, I looked down into the blackness and saw a light at the end…
I pointed a flashlight that way and it illuminated the silhouette of a dark figure.
Now if you pizza when you’re supposed to French fry you’re gonna have a bad time. We pizza-ed instead of French frying.
Moving past these debacles.
At one time we went in with a few of Jay’s friends.
The other buildings on campus were beautiful. In the main one you could see where they converted it into offices and they even had an entire map of the city and every traffic light!
Also, this building was the home to lots, and I mean lots, of cats.
I was obviously in heaven. Grime and kitties, what could be better.
On the campus there were smaller buildings covered in vines and a house like structure in which we found a homeless mans den, complete with swimsuit seudo-porn. (Get it, dude.) See below.
More Pictures time!
Overall the demolition of this collection of abandonment and history was really disappointing. It was a beacon of my early days exploring and I cherished it so. It was a exploration playground as well as a place for me to hone my skills.
And it was just pretty darn cool.
You know what to do.
Per usual if you want to keep up to date on current adventures and selfies check out my insta : @wakeupyoureyes
(Insert clever sign off here)